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& fHemortal Folume, 



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Cfjfs ffiemorial Uolumc 



r j^HE Biographical Sketches at the commencement 

-*- of this book supplement one another. There 

is of necessity some repetition in them, but for the 

most part they are perfectly distinct in their character 

and aim. 

A fair idea of the general teaching and public 

utterances of Dr. Smith may be gathered from the 

Lectures, Speeches, and Sermons which form the bulk 

of the volume. The selection and revision have been 

a labour of love and a source of blessing ; but the 

need of the " vanished hand " has frequently been felt. 

Had my Father undertaken the publication of his own 

works, the result would have been much more worthy 

of him. Yet the volume, as it is, will be welcomed 

by his friends, many of whom have expressed a desire 

for some permanent record of his utterances ; aud 

perhaps also by those who have listened to him both 

in this country and abroad. His most conspicuous 


viii PREFACE. 


earthly memorial, probably, will be seen in the Chapels 
erected by the aid of the Metropolitan Chapel Build- 
ing Fund, with the success of which his name will 
long be identified. His " memorial before God " con- 
sists in the devoted lives of those who have received 
lasting benefit from his ministrations, counsel, and 

May He who often used the lips which are now 
silent, in imparting instruction, comfort, and stimulus 
to the hearers, in like manner bless this memorial 
volume to the edification of the readers. 

A. 0. S. 

July 1882. 



Historical Sketch, by the Rev. Samuel Lees, xiii 

Personal Recollections, by the Rev. Benjamin Gregory, 3 
Address in connection with the Funeral Sermon, by the 

Rev. Ebenezer E. Jenkins, M.A., 33 


I. "Wycliffe, the Morning Star of the Reformation, 49 

II. Queen Elizabeth, and the Spanish Armada, 87 

III. The Trial of the Seven Bishops, 129 

IV. The Siege of Derry, and "No Surrender," 168 


I. Sublimity of the Missionary Enterprise, 208 

II. On behalf of the British and Foreign Bible Society, 226 

Ordination Charge, 237 


I. Christianity a System of Power, 281 

II. Truth, 304 

III. Christ Indispensable to Salvation, 330 

IV. Melehisedec, a Type of Christ, 356 
V The Lips under Guard, 382 

VI. The Joy of Jesus in prospect of the Cross, 403 







rilHE number of the ex-Presidents of the Wesleyan 

-*- Conference has been " minished and brought 

low." Middle-aged men remember, and the traditions 

of the elders describe, the cluster of veterans to the 

right of the chair, whose reverend presence gave 

dignity, and long experience weight, to the counsels of 

the assembly. Now the number is few of those who 

rank as Fathers. Of the twelve ex-Presidents who 

entered the ministry after the venerable John Farrar 

was received on trial, and have since passed away, 

four occupied the chair in consecutive years, and in 

the same order in which they were elected, died. 

When Mr. Farrar's name was entered on trial, George 

T. Perks was a child three years old, Gervase Smith 

had seen his first birthday, Luke H. Wiseman was a 

little infant, and William Morley Punshon was not 

born. If the experience of former years prevailed, all 

these and others would be with us for years to come, 



and with riper knowledge be guiding and encouraging 
the efforts of younger men. But the duties of our 
Ministry are more complicated and multifarious ; and 
in an age of steam, verging on one of electricity, 
movement is rapid ; and strong men succumb to the 
pace and the pressure : 

"Many strokes, though with a little axe, 
Hew down and fell the hardest timher'd oak. " 

The Ministry of Gervase Smith was passed in the 
midst of scenes of excitement and activity. He entered 
upon it at a time when storm was gathering over the 
Connexion ; and when the thunder-cloud broke, he was 
found, though only a young man, standing loyal in his 
fidelity to Methodism and Methodist order. The storm 
over, and its melancholy ravages seen, he won con- 
fidence by his arduous and enthusiastic exertions in 
aid of Foreign Missions and other institutions. Lec- 
turing was in vogue, and as a lecturer he earned 
popularity. The good work done in his own Circuits 
and in visits to others led to enlarged influence. His 
varied public services were rewarded after our manner 
by imposing new responsibilities and duties, as in the 
case of Westminster Chapel and the Metropolitan 
Chapel Fund. As the Secretary and President of 
the Conference, as the Eepresentative to Canada and 


Australasia, and last of all by taking up the work of 
his friend and neighbour and former Superintendent, 
the Eev. John Eattenbury, he rendered service to and 
beyond the measure of his strength, to the last. 

In reviewing his career we can clearly trace the 
moulding power of his early home life, of the environ- 
ment of hill and dale in which it was passed, and of 
the peculiarly close friendships formed both in his 
youth and matiirer years. As we remember the father 
and mother, they thus impressed us : — The father as a 
shrewd, practical man, to whom idleness was deadly 
sin ; a man who could drive a bargain and knew the 
value of money; God-fearing; a thorough Methodist, 
and one who saw the value of a liberal education, and 
regarded it as a sound investment, which, combined 
with good moral and religious principle, would con- 
tribute to usefulness and success in life : the mother 
gifted with kindly commanding influence over her 
boys, and who held and deserved it, as one who 
ought to have obedience and was accustomed to it. 
The family was a large one, there being fifteen 
children. An only child runs the risk of spoiling. 
A member of a large family must acquire habits of 
self-help and mutual help, that in mature life will 
shape into independence and a readiness to help 


others, of the utmost advantage. Under such a 
mother they were bound to help each other. Her 
character was the open secret of their prospered 
lives. One son, the late Dr. Edward Smith, became 
a Fellow of the Koyal Society, an international 
authority on diet and other questions, and well 
known as a physician to the Brompton Hospital, 
and a medical officer to the Local Government 
Board. A laborious student, he looked the rather 
like a vigorous yeoman to the last. George Smith 
entered the Established Church, became a popular 
London clergyman, and is now a Eector in Norfolk. 
Joseph Smith joined the Civil Service, and became a 
Magistrate in India ; and Sidney entered the employ- 
ment of the East India Company, and received official 
rank in a civil department. 

Gervase Smith was born at Langley on the 2 7th 
June, 1821, and when he was quite a boy the family 
removed to Heanor. He spoke of his birthplace as an 
obscure hamlet in Derbyshire, and of his childhood as 
having been passed amidst the scenes and associations 
of " the hill country." To them he ascribed " a sort 
of sturdy, almost rude, independence," which, he said, 
"grew with his growth and strengthened with his 
strength." " The hill country " he loved — and who 


that has known it, from Isaac Walton to Walter Scott, 
has not loved it ? — lies for many miles right and left 
of the Midland Railway from Belper via Buxton to 
Manchester. His boyhood was passed in its south- 
eastern limits ; his early schools afforded excursions to 
its southern slopes ; later on, as a student from Sheffield, 
he was able to go across the moors to Lady Bower and 
the valley of the Derwent, too, as the river rolls down 
past the Palace of the Peak. His second circuit was on 
its north-western bounds, where the hills gather round 
Glossop. As a Supernumerary he passed most of his 
declining days in its central valley, the last winter 
being spent at Matlock ; and he returned from it only 
to die. The hill country had much to do with his 
love of independence and freedom. Freedom is difficult 
of repression amongst the hills ; liberty makes them 
her refuge when persecuted. To the unavoidable 
physical exercise the hills afforded him in youth, he 
was much indebted for the strength and vigour of his 
frame ; and to the varying scenery of hill and dale, 
rill and river, for that love of poetry that seems almost 
indigenous amongst Derbyshire men. 

His friendships were unusually strong. Those 
formed in boyhood and at school with George Alton 
and W T. Xelson, John Baker and William Morley 


Punshon, and others, were not " all school-day friend- 
ships." They were continued, but that with Morley 
Punshon grew eminently. We remember quoting one 
night, when the two friends were discussing plans for 
lectures and work at Alwyne Eoad, Canonbury, 

"So we grew together, 
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted, 
But yet a union in partition. " 

Eight merrily by both was the Shakesperian simile 
accepted. In Ministerial life the friendships formed 
with the Eev. S. Tindall and Eev. John Eattenbury 
were perhaps the most influential. So far as we know, 
every colleague he had regarded him as a friend, 
and he treated each as such ; and amongst the in- 
evitable criticisms through which every public man 
must pass, one of the few adverse to him was that 
there was a danger lest his friendships should make 
him too partial in his judgments. 

His education was carried on at Heanor under 
Thomas Eoscoe, where three friends named above, 
including his chief friend, were schoolfellows, and 
at Mackworth, where he formed the fourth of his 
acquaintances with future Methodist preachers in 
John Baker. He became a student at Wesley College, 
Sheffield, then known as the Wesleyan Proprietary 


Grammar School, where the Weslajan in the title 
expressed the chief motive and spirit of its founders. 
A high-class education could be procured elsewhere, 
but at the possible cost of alienation from Methodism 
and its Ministers. The institution was founded just 
before the Centenary movement, to combine the advan- 
tages of a high culture with definite Methodistic 
influences. The wave of denominational enthusiasm 
which culminated in that movement, like some great 
tidal wave, uplifted above all shallowness, and sub- 
merged and obliterated beneath one sunlit sea of love, 
those low barriers of rock and shoal which the ebb 
reveals. Home and school made Gervase Smith a 
Methodist of the Methodists. To quote a Calvinist, 
he was " one of those predestined to be an Arminian." 
To these influences his religious life contributed. 
His conversion and Ministry exhibit the value of per- 
sonal appeal. He ascribed his conversion chiefly to the 
solicitude of his Mother. He was fourteen years of age. 
Absence from home and companionship with careless 
schoolfellows led to declension. But upon his return 
home after eighteen months, his former godly asso- 
ciates prayed for and with him. The Spirit of God strove 
powerfully. He spent " days in unutterable agony." 
" At length," he said, " I went into my room with some 


degree of hope, though with many fears. After wrest- 
ling for a considerable time, I saw the Saviour evidently 
set forth, crucified, before my eyes. At once I appro- 
priated the merit of His death, and threw myself into 
His arms. The voice of the Spirit cried : 

' Thy sins are forgiven, accepted thou art, 
I listened, and heaven sprang up in my heart.' 

I felt that God was mine, Jesus was mine, the Spirit 
was mine." 

About this time the purchase and perusal of 
Foster's Essay on Decision of Character exerted a 
powerful and a permanent influence upon him. In 
childhood the idea of the Ministry had passed before 
his mind, but when the Spirit spoke to him in pardon 
He also called him to service. " On the very spot 
where the Lord assured me of my pardon, I earnestly 
cried, after praising Him for my own salvation, 

' What shall I do to make it known 
What Thou for all mankind hast done ?' " 

The inward call of the Spirit was followed by the call 
of the Church. The Kev. Thomas Newton led him to 
attempt to preach. He became while yet a youth 
a Local Preacher. " The constant and all-absorbing 
subject" of his prayer was that he might " be a useful 
preacher." He laboured as a Local Preacher in the 


J >erby, Sheffield, and Belper Circuits. He offered 
himself as a candidate for the Ministry in 1841, but 
no men were taken out that year. The next year he 
was recommended by the Nottingham and Derby 
District, and in 1842 was admitted as a student to 
Didsbury College, where he had the advantage of 
studying Methodist theology under Dr. Hannah, and 
classics under the Eev. W. L. Thornton. The Assistant 
Tutor, the Eev. T. "VVoolmer, describes him as " ever 
pleasant, genial, loyal, and faithful," and as " universally 
beloved." F. W. Briggs and G. T. Morrison were 
friends and fellow-students. So also Luke Tyerman, 
rich in happy recollections of the three years ; and 
a fourth friend, a Welsh student, full of Celtic fire, 
liichard Eoberts, the friends " hopefully anticipating 
a happy and long Ministerial career." Mr. Eoberts 
writes : " None of his Ministerial brethren will mourn 
more deeply his departure than his old college friends 
who survive." Three industrious years over, Gervase 
Smith was appointed to Blackburn under the Eev. 
John Hannah. He made his Superintendent his 
friend. Eeviewing his year of service, he thankfully 
records that fifty had professed to find peace with Cod 
in the year, and twenty had professed to receive 
cleansing from all sin. Similar or even more striking 



results followed h ; .s visits to other Circuits ; as one 
night at Irwell Street, Manchester, when nearly fifty 
persons came forward in deep distress, about thirty of 
whom professed to find peace with God. His second 
Circuit was Glossop, " close to the hill country," 
Kinder Scout, with the savage scenery near the Snake, 
on the desolate road toward Sheffield, being close at 
hand. During the year of Gervase Smith's residence, 
Thomas Hickson was the Superintendent. The last 
year of probation was spent at Wakefield. This 
appointment was every way notable. He entered 
with ardour upon his work. The first week of his 
residence, at a week-night service, two came forward 
cryirig for mercy. His private diary through these 
years continually records penitents coming forward 
and finding pardon. His probation over in 1848, he 
was publicly examined in Waltham Street Chapel, 
Hull, and ordained in Kingston Chapel, on the 
Holderness Eoad. The venerable Eichard Eeece 
opened the service with prayer; and the President, 
Dr. Newton ; the Secretary, the Eev. Joseph Fowler 
(father of Mr. H. H. Fowler, M.P.) ; and the ex- 
President, the Eev. Samuel Jackson, one of a noble 
trio of brothers, took part in his ordination. The 
charge was based on " Fight the good fight of faith." 


A fortnight after, he was married at Prestbury, by the 
Rev. Henry Pearson, to Mary Ann, daughter of Mr. 
William Higginbotham, of Park Street, Macclesfield. 
He returned to his Circuit with the same colleagues — 
Joseph Entwistle being the Superintendent, and Joseph 
T. Milner and Charles Clay the second and third 
Preachers respectively. In 1849, Mr. Entwistle and 
Mr. Clay left at the end of their second year, William 
Atherton and P. C. Horton filling their places. It 
was a time of agitation. Detraction was freely 
indulged in against all who were loyal to order. 
The effect on Mr. Smith was to confirm him in his 
confidence in Methodist law and usage, to bind him 
to his colleagues in firmest friendship, and to make 
him a more earnest advocate of Methodist institutions, 
especially our Foreign Missions, our Theological Insti- 
tutions, and our Worn-Out Preachers' Fund. He was 
far from being a Congregationalist when he left 
Didsbury ; he was an ardent upholder of Connexion^ 
principles when he left Wakefield. From Wakefield 
he removed to York. Here he was associated witli 
his Brother-in-law, the Pew Samuel Tindall, who was 
his Superintendent for the next six years, and whose 
three sons are now in the Wesleyan Ministry, the 
youngest bearing the name of Mrs. Smith's Father. 


^ __ — 

His other colleagues were B. B. Waddy, William 
Davenport, and David Hay. The fervid Methodism 
of York, its noble congregations, its numerous villages 
with their enthusiastic Missionary Meetings, afforded a 
sphere for the exercise and development of his powers. 
He made speeches, worked at his Greek Testament, 
wrote sermons, scrutinized his inner motives, abased 
himself before God and sought His blessing, and was 
honoured with success. 

Three years over, Mr. Tindall, with Mr. Smith, 
removed to Huddersfield, Buxton Eoad Circuit. 
While here, the shadow of death fell across his 
path — a shadow that never wholly left him. The 
sudden* death of his Grandfather induced personal 
review. In his private diary he wrote : "I do not 
expect to live to old age, but leave that in the hands 
of God." To do his duty with his might was now 
his purpose. 

From Huddersfield he removed in 1856 to Bristol, 
King Street. John Lomas was his Superintendent 
for two years, and John Battenbury for the third. 
His other colleagues were Edward Brice, Josiah 
Pearson, and F. W. Briggs, his fellow-student at 
Didsbury, with whom he spent three years, as he did 
also afterwards at City Eoad. He was rising in 


popularity. Mr. Pearson wondered " at the immense 
labours he so constantly and enthusiastically sus- 
tained." From Bristol he went to Manchester in 
1859, to the Bridgewater Street Circuit. James Carr 
was the Superintendent, and Bichard Smetham the 
third preacher for the last two years. In the third year, 
Mr. Smith became the Superintendent, and his other 
colleagues were William Edwards and Walford Green, 
together with Josiah Goodacre, who entered on his 
Ministry in 1861, and of whom, the first young man 
under his charge, Dr. Smith was wont to speak in 
high terms. The residence at Manchester was marked 
by family bereavement and personal affliction. To 
the outer religious world he was the overwrought, 
popular man, overdone with excitement and excessive 
toil. But we may lift the curtain and go behind the 
scenes — away from the garish lights of popular life. 
He writes : " I am living under the constant im- 
pression of coming death. May I be always ready. 
The wild winds which have been chimin" out the old 
year speak to me of the coining end. The death of 
others calls me to be prepared. I commit my soul to 
Christ, and my darling family to the care of Pro- 
vidence ; and if my life be spared, I will preach 
Christ as I have never done." He was then in the 


— _ « — 

seventeenth year of his ministry and the thirty-ninth 
of his age. Twenty-two years lay before him. But 
the end seemed near. 

It is not wonderful that his health suffered. He 
was attempting and doing too much. Besides fulfilling 
important Circuit duties, he had many calls as the 
Financial Secretary of the Manchester District ; he 
was lecturing and speaking with great frequency, and 
in 1864 was appointed to accompany the Eev. J. 
Eattenbury to the Irish Conference of the following 
June. At the same Manchester period he was a 
promoter of the Methodist Recorder, and busy in other 

In the spring of 1861, he was invited by the 
Missionary Committee to take part in the Anni- 
versary. He preached at Hinde Street a sermon, long 
remembered, on the work of Christ for the World, and 
the World for Christ, from Luke xxiv. 46-47 ; and 
on the Sunday at Lambeth, a Chapel he had before 
visited periodically, from Eph. iv. 20-21 ; and at 
Hackney in the evening, from Heb. xiii. 10—12. 
The following morning he spoke at Exeter Hall. 
Taking up the familiar phrase then current, he 
announced himself as "a young man from the 
Country." It served as an adroit introduction to a 


speech which caught the popular taste, and thoroughly 
aroused the peculiar audience of Exeter Hall. Some 
poetical quotations, chosen with felicity and declaimed 
with power, aided and adorned his success. Perhaps 
his platform efforts of this period were the happiest 
of his life. A well-known description by Miss 
Hessel depicts one of his earlier deliverances. He 
made large preparations, but was not hampered by 
them. He could rest himself and his audience for a 
moment as he turned aside to some playful local 
allusion or anecdote, and then resume his course. 
Not infrequently his friend Morley Punshon was on 
the same platform with him, and then there was a 
buoyancy and dash in their addresses as they exulted 
in their work. We recall one such occasion, Gervase 
Smith speaking first. The Hill Top Chapel was 
crowded, intelligence and culture enough present to 
give impulse, genial sympathy enough to supply 
warmth. The whole audience was carried away with 
enthusiasm. Morley Punshon had to follow. Quietly 
taking up the report from the table, he said, " Missions 
have now a history and a literature of their own ; " 
and coolly read the titles of the books, grammars, and 
lexicons on the cover of the report. The audience 
settled down, adjusted themselves, whispers ran round, 


and at last Mr. Punshon, with a merry laugh, threw 
back the report on the table, saying, " You are in a 
condition to be spoken to now, and were not five 
minutes ago. You needed a sedative. You have had 
enough bark for the present, but if you require another 
tonic, you shall have it by and by." We need not 
describe his glittering rhetoric. For half an hour he 
spoke quietly, and then using every art at his command 
for another half-hour, climax following climax, he 
wrought up the audience once more to the same 
enthusiastic pitch it had reached when Gervase Smith 
sat down. 

In an entirely different style were the addresses 
Mr. Smitli sometimes gave to children. Weighing the 
merits of the most perfect and successful specimens of 
this difficult art we have listened to, and selecting two 
speeches for comparison, the one on India and the other 
on Fiji, it would be difficult to say which of the two 
deserved the palm for brightness, clearness, freshness, 
and vivid feeling of interest and pathos — the speech on 
India by that master of assemblies of children, the 
gifted W 0. Simpson, or the speech on Fiji by Gervase 

In 1862 Mr. Smith was appointed to Highbury 
Circuit, then formed by the separation of the Highbury 


Chapel, built in 1857, and the Mildmay Park Chapel 
just opened, from the Liverpool Road Circuit. Herbert 
Hoare was his colleague. The next year there was a 
change, J. A. Armstrong succeeding Mr. Hoare, and 
Samuel Lees becoming the third preacher in charge of 
a work of extension. 

His pulpit ministrations were marked by great 
vigour, and glowed with evangelical warmth. The 
topics he delighted to dwell upon were the fulness 
and freeness of the atonement, and the power of saving 
faith. Faith in Christ for salvation was the ever- 
recurring theme. His favourite book of Scripture 
appeared to be the Epistle to the Hebrews. When 
seized with the disease that laid him low, " Heb. 
vii. 25" was the promise he hung upon continually 
At the week-night services, it was quite natural to 
open at this epistle to find his texts. He must have 
expounded in this way the greater part of this book. 
And his lectures, some of which he had already de- 
livered, and one at least of which he prepared while 
living in Canonbury, all related to great Reformers wh<> 
taught justification by faith, or episodes in the history 
of Protestantism. In his speeches there was freer play. 
His quotations of poetry were not so much from the 
great masters as from humbler poets, whose pnem.-> 


gushed from hearts where faith in God and His Christ 
had inspired religious thought and joy. 

During these years Mr. Smith worked at high 
pressure. The Highbury School scheme and the Cale- 
donian Eoad Chapel scheme were launched and carried 
through. The Jubilee movement enlisted his services. 
He visited the Irish Conference for a second time ; like 
the late Charles Prest, he was always at home amongst 
the Irish brethren. In 1864, he became the Secretary 
of the Southern Branch of the Institution, and the 
same year he became Financial Secretary of the un- 
wieldy London District. He wrote fugitive pieces for 
the press. He passed through the press a volume of 
sermons*by his Wakefield colleague, J. T. Milner. He 
wrote for private circulation the life of Jane Bayley 
Davis, of Hill Top. He bestowed great pains on the 
preparation of his lecture on Wycliffe, which was 
launched at Mildmay Park Chapel, Morley Punshon 
being the Chairman. He looked after all matters great 
and small in his Circuit, and had all his wits about him. 

His correspondence was extensive, and having to 
write with speed, his peculiar handwriting, clear 
enough to those familiar with it, became more per- 
plexing. Invitations poured in for lectures, sermons, 
and speeches, the said letters demonstrating the great 


importance of each application, and the wonderful ease 
with which it could " be worked in." 

The speed was too fast. Numerous services, long 
railway journeys in early morning and late at night, 
continuous planning to provide for the claims of Com- 
mittees, of Circuit work, and avoid the loss of an hour 
or the collision of an engagement, filled his days with 
labour. The cheerfulness of his spirit lightened his 
work. Only a strong man could have done it, and he 
felt it. At the close of the May District Committee in 
1861, where he acted as assistant to the Secretary, 
Morley Punshon, he was seized with illness. The long 
hours in the close atmosphere of the old Morning 
Chapel had proved too much for an already tired man. 
Dr. Buxton had to be called in from Compton Terrace, 
and supplies provided for pulpit work. 

From Highbury, Mr. Smith removed to City Boad, 
and occupied John Wesley's house. His fellow-student 
at Didsbury, and Bristol colleague, F W. Briggs, passed 
a second three years with him. He held the Secretary- 
ship of the District and of the Bichmond Institution. 
The Chequer Alley movement, especially aided by Mr. 
Briggs, was successfully carried out, and in public 
affairs his course at Highbury was repeated and con- 
tinued. His excessive labours brought on an attack 



of illness, and for a time he was confined to his home. 
The keeping silence when he longed to speak and preach 
" was pain and grief" to him. There was the undertone 
of serious thought. We believe that the thought of 
the coming grave led him to do with his might, and 
more even than his might, the work which his hands 
found to do. Perhaps this conviction of the shortness 
of time thus tended to shorten his days. 

At the Conference of 1866 he was elected into the 
Legal Hundred, Thomas Vasey, George T. Perks, and 
Dr. Eigg receiving the honour at the same time. In 
acknowledging the vote of the Conference, he expressed 
his fears that the two dangers of Methodism were 
worldly conformity and ritualism or formalism; and 
his hopes in the issues of a fuller consecration to God 
and endowment of the Spirit. 

He removed from City Road to Hammersmith in 
1868. His colleagues were his school friend, John 
Baker, John Brash, and Walford Green, his colleague 
in Manchester. The next year Ealing became an in- 
dependent Circuit, and Gervase Smith, with John 
Baker, remained in charge of Hammersmith. 

In 1870 his career as a Circuit Minister closed. 
For twenty-five years he had discharged his duties as 
such, with great devotion and industry. The popularity 


of his Ministry had attracted congregations ; his habit 
of cultivating friendly relations with his colleagues, 
both older and younger, had promoted harmony of 
working ; his tact, adroitness, and humour prevented 
some difficulties and overcame others ; and his power 
of raising money had aided Circuit finances, Chapel 
schemes, and Connexional Funds, especially the Mis- 
sionary Fund. 

His qualities were known, and because of them, in 
combinations very useful for the purpose, he was in 
1870 taken out of Circuit work and appointed the 
Secretary of the Metropolitan Chapel Building Fund. 
The magnificent challenge of Sir Francis Lycett to give 
£50,000 for new Chapels, if a similar sum were raised 
by the Provinces, was taken up by Mr. Smith, who 
succeeded in raising promises to more than that amount. 
The remarkable energy which had raised Sir Francis 
Lycett to a position of wealth and influence was given 
as thoroughly to the cause of Chapel building extension 
as it was ever given to his own business. The activity, 
experience, and varied gifts of Gervase Smith were 
devoted to the same cause. He became not simply an 
accurate and respectable official, but a man with a 
mission. To him and Sir Francis Lycett, a few faithful 

departed, and a small group of far-seeing, large-minded 



a. . ■ 

laymen and Ministers still living, Methodism is indebted 
for that movement, which in some respects has never 
had popular support, but has rather depended on the 
convictions of the few than the enthusiasm and popular 
adherence of the many ; but which has given the 
London Methodism of the last twenty- five years an 
incomparable advance upon any preceding half Century. 
But for this movement the impulse furnished to the 
Thanksgiving Fund by the example of the London 
Districts could never have been supplied. 

The following extracts from Mr. Smith's private 
diary indicate the spirit of consecration to God, and 
of self-examination, with which he entered on this 
important work, and to which may be ascribed his 
success in the arduous task of raising the large sum 
required, as also in moulding those harmonious relations 
which he sustained towards his brethren in Circuit 
work, especially in the Circuit where he resided : — 

"Sept. 4, 1870. — I resolve to guard myself on some 

" 1. I must not permit the secular duties of my 
office to interfere with my religious life. I therefore 
resolve to devote myself afresh to God, and to renew 
the dedication daily. 

"2. I must not allow this office to interfere with 


my preaching. There is no immediate probability of 
this, for the calls are very numerous ; but I will be on 
my guard. I will study the Word of God more, and 
seek more of the praying and preaching spirit of our 

" 3. I purpose being careful not to interfere in 
Circuit matters. 

" 4. And while my time and energy must be given 
to my immediate work, which I pray our gracious 
Lord to prosper, I must not forget our Connexional 
bond, nor my Connexional duty. I implore the bless- 
ing of my Master on all. 

" ' Here then to Thee Thy own I leave ; 

Mould as Thou wilt Thy passive clay ; 
But let me all Thy stamp receive, 

But let me all Thy words obey, 
Serve with a single heart and eve, 
And to Thy glory live and die.' " 

"Die. 12, 1870. — The last month has been filled 
with work respecting the Fund. Have visited Man- 
chester, Liverpool, Bolton, Southport, Huddersfield, 
HanM'-iatu, Newcastle, Gateshead, etc. The response 
lias been most encouraging, and the spirit of the 
friends has been excellent. We have promises of 
about 1*13,000 towards the £50,000. The labour 
and anxiety, both in reference to this extra business 


and the ordinary work of the Fund, will be, I fear, 
too much for me. This bitterly cold weather is 
dangerous in my present state of health. I feel, 
however, that duty requires some risk. May I be 
guided rightly, and oh, that God may help me to 
maintain personal spiritual religion in the midst of 
this financial pressure ! I feel the need of this more 
than ever. No amount of success in securing money 
will repay the loss." 

New honours and duties followed and accompanied 
Mr. Smith's entrance on departmental work. At the 
Newcastle Conference in 1873 he was elected the 
Secretary. The next year he was reappointed to the 
Secretaryship of the Conference, and his friend Dr. 
Punshon was chosen as President. In the following 
year, 1875, at Sheffield, he was elected President. In 
the pulpit of Carver Street, the Conference Chapel, he 
had preached his trial sermon as a Candidate ; earlier 
still, in one of the pews, he had gained a great spiritual 
victory; in a room outlooking the smoke-blackened 
gravestones in the rear, he had been examined as a 
Candidate ; when a student at "Wesley College, he had 
attended many of its services. 

The election of Dr. Smith gave general satisfaction. 
His "lively and genial temperament, his diligence, 


promptitude, and despatch, his frequent display of 
more than ordinary tact and adroitness, his knowledge 
of Connexional law and usage, and his sobriety and 
calmness of judgment," all proved of invaluable service 
in the chair. He carried with him to important 
services, as at the ordination in Norfolk Street, where 
Dr. Punshon gave the Charge, the influence of one whom 
new duties brought nearer to God ; and when, at the 
close of his year of office, he presided over the Irish 
Conference in Dublin, he was welcomed as a " respected 
and beloved friend." He was counted by the Irish 
ministers as " one of ourselves." The young Ministers 
who were then ordained in Dublin wrote after his 
death to his widow of their memories of "his passionate 
earnestness and solemn impressiveness on that occasion," 
and of the stimulus of his words as felt to-day. He 
was accompanied by Dr. Punshon to Ireland. 

His association with Dr. Punshon was a source of 
joy. From no hands could he, with more pleasure, 
have received the simple and significant tokens of 
office. Five years before, he had been the British 
Representative to Canada, when his schoolfellow was 
President of the Canadian Conference; and in 1874 
Gervase Smith was the Canadian representative and 
Dr. Punshon the British President. Two years after- 



wards, in 1877, in which year Mr. Smith received the 
honorary title of Doctor of Divinity from the Victoria 
University, Cobourg, Canada, he was appointed to 
visit the Wesleyan Missions in Polynesia, and to attend 
the Australasian Conference in Sydney in May 1878, 
returning to the Bradford Conference of that year, Dr. 
Punshon being Missionary Secretary. "A friendship 
so complete, portioned in halves " their lives. 

Dr. Smith's health had been attacked at Manchester 
and Highbury. He had an illness at City Pioad. The 
voyage to the Antipodes was undertaken in the hope 
that further failure, which had then taken place, might 
be counteracted. Beneath all the joy and seemingly exu- 
berant energy of his public course, there was a pensive, 
solemn undertone. His feelings received at this time 
expression in verse, in which he reviewed his call to the 
Ministry, and his call to final account of his stewardship: 

" In earliest years I heard 

A Voice, which said to me, 
' child of many prayers, 
The Master calleth thee.' 
I came, and all my sins confessed : 
He whispered, ' I will give thee rest.' 

" I heard another voice — 

' The world is sick and sad, 
And men are perishing, 

Whom Jesus would make glad. 


By diligent and studious care 
For years of usefulness prepare.' 

" And then, again, I heard 

The word of high command : 
' Into my vineyard go, 

And work with ceaseless hand. ' 
Prostrate, before the divine decree, 
I said, ' Lord, here am I, send me.' 

" And, oh, the grace of God, 

Which now for many years 
Hath borne with wayward love 

And unbelieving fears, 
With time misspent, with plans unwrought, 
And opportunities forgot. 

" And now, at eve of life, 
In weakness and in pain, 
And done with toil and strife, 
I hear the call again : 
' Thy warfare o'er, the victory won, 
Come hither, and receive thy crown. ' 

" O'erwhelmed with sense of shame, 

Yet filled with reverent love, 
Exulting I ascend, 

And take the prize above : 
Pleading the. sinner's only plea, 
Christ, I cling to Thee, to Thee." 

Dr. Smith never fully rallied. In 1879 he showed 
signs of continued weakness. He could take few 
public services. At a Ministers' Meeting which was 
held in the Morning Chapel on Friday, October 


31st, the question of the Class-meeting and con- 
troversies affecting it were discussed. Two most 
solemn protests against the dangers which they 
believed to be associated with any change, and ex- 
pressions of conviction of the injury which they thought 
had been done by injudicious discussion, were made, 
with a most evident sense of responsibility and a 
pathetic earnestness, by John Eattenbury and Gervase 
Smith. This was almost, if not the last time they 
were in public together. Three days before Christmas, 
Dr. Smith's neighbour-friend and former Superin- 
tendent passed away. On January 26th, 1880, Dr. 
Punshon and Dr. Smith were once more publicly 
associated in a Memorial Service at Liverpool Eoad 
Chapel, Dr. Punshon preaching a sermon on the Wise 
Steward, and Dr. Smith reading an account of Mr. 
Eattenbury's life. The sermon and sketch were shortly 
afterwards published in a small memorial volume. 

Dr. Smith's health continued to fail. Another 
neighbour, and member of the Highbury Congregation, 
Dr. Jobson, died on the 4th of January, 1881. Dr. 
Punshon took part in the service at Highbury Chapel; 
Dr. Smith was a prisoner through illness, and friends 
apprehended his death. On the 1 4th of April, 1881, 
Dr. Punshon died; and at the Liverpool Conference, at 


which his obituary was read, Dr. Smith became a 
Supernumerary. Dr. Smith appeared on the Con- 
ference platform on the day when the Metropolitan 
Chapel Fund business came forward. He did not 
speak. As we saw him afterwards in the vestry of 
the Brunswick Chapel, Mr. Napier said, " Our friend has 
dorie his work." Most of his time during the winter 
was spent from home, chiefly at Matlock, with one 
short visit to Brighton. He returned to Matlock, in 
the very centre of the loved " hill country," in November, 
1881 ; and came back to London on the last day of 
March, 1882, to his residence at 13, Leigh Boad, High- 
bury Park. His last public appearance had been at 
the Foundation-stone laying of Matlock Chapel on Feb- 
ruary 15th, 1882. When he returned home, he went 
up-stairs, and never came down again till carried 
forth for burial. Though not in age, he was in pain 
and "feebleness extreme." He suffered much, verv 
much, from a complication of diseases, of which heart 
disease was the chief root. During the last weeks, he 
had interviews with several Ministers, including Dr. 
Osborn, President of the Conference; the Bev. W. 
Arthur, Frederic G reeves, Edward P Lowry, F. J. Sharr, 
H. Hoare, S. Lees, and his old friend John Walton, just 
arrived from South Africa. On the Easter Sunday 


afternoon, a Sacramental Service was held in the sick 
room, at Dr. Smith's request. The Eev. F. J. Sharr 
officiated, and the members of the family, with their 
next-door neighbours, Mrs. Eattenbury and her 
daughters, partook of the emblems of the Saviour's 
death. At the very same time, the family of the Eev. 
E. S. Ellis, who died within a few hours of Dr. Smith, 
were holding a similar service. On Thursday, the 20th 
April, the Eev. B. Gregory and W. Hirst visited the 
sick room, and a remarkable service was held, the hymn, 
" Come, ye that love the Lord," being sung with great 
emotion, and Dr. Smith requesting that it might be 
repeated. After the service Dr. Smith sank into a 
comatose state. The weakness increased. Through 
the Friday he sank lower and lower still. On Saturday 
morning the breathing was more laboured and difficult. 
At half-past seven, the members of his family, with 
some relatives, the servants and devoted nurse, gathered 
round his chair where he had passed the last days. 
While prayer was offered, an earnest response was 
given ; and when faith in the atonement and merits of 
Christ Jesus was expressed, he gave hearty assent. 
And so, in the spirit of trustful prayer, which is the 
Christian's vital breath even in a dying hour, he 
entered into rest. He entered heaven by prayer. 


On Thursday, the 27th of April, the Funeral Service 
was conducted at the Highbury Chapel. No place 
could have been more appropriate. He had probably 
preached there more frequently than in any Chapel in 
London, or perhaps even than in any in the Con- 
nexion. It had been his first London charge. His 
connection with it had influenced his connection with 
the Metropolitan Chapel Fund. Sir Francis Lycett 
had been one of its seat-holders and Trustees. It was 
the chosen place of worship in his retirement. Nor 
could any speaker have been more appropriate than 
Dr. Osborn, the President, who delivered an address 
on the two victories, of death over life, of Christ over 
death. He had known and watched the whole of the 
Ministerial course of Gervase Smith, had entered his 
name as a student at Didsbury forty years before, 
and now spoke of him as his course was over. That 
course he pronounced blameless. The hymn, " Come, 
ye that love the Lord," was given out with a power, 
instinct with exposition of every line, by the President, 
and sung with deepest feeling. The service seemed 
tu say of the missing one, " He is not here, he is 
risen." The coffin was there, flower-laden on every 
side, wreaths white and fragrant hanging round it, 
and piled above it. The distances that many had 


travelled were evidence of love. Mr. John Walton 
wrote afterwards to the widow, "I have not seen 
anything like it." But the key-note of the service 
was, " Eejoice for a brother deceased." He was " not 
there:" he had gone to receive his crown, and be for 
ever with the Lord. After Dr. Smith's death the 
following verses were found in his desk, headed 
"The Prospect:" 

" The Jordan is rolling Betwixt me and Home ; 
I stand on the margin, The summons has come. 
My Joshua leads me Through death's darkest wave ; 
His hand is unerring, And ' mighty to save.' 

" The world is behind me, Life's trials are o'er ; 
v Lo ! heaven is appearing, I see the blest shore. 

Bright angels are beaming Their welcome to me ; 

And God, my Redeemer, Benignant I see. 

" Now in the dread moment My sins I confess ; 
My only foundation Is His righteousness, 
Who purchased salvation For me by His death, 
And gives me assurance Through penitent faith. 

' ' Saviour ! be near me, Keep hold of my hand : 
The waters, though surging, "Will own Thy command. 
My fears have all vanished, Death's terrors have gone ; 
I walk through the river, And up to the throne. " 

In his family life Dr. Smith was happy beyond 
most. His reverence for his own parents was great. 
His brothers and sisters looked to him for counsel 


and guidance, in sorrow or perplexity. His children 
honour his memory, and feel that his life confers 
honour upon them. His home was a happy one, in 
which he was " a central warmth " diffusing joy and 
kindness. In the busiest hours of an active public 
life, he never neglected his duty as a Husband and 
Father. Nor could any wife have surpassed in kind- 
ness, goodness, and faithful solicitous care of husband, 
family, and home, the loving partner of his life. 

Amongst his colleagues, we know of no exception to 
the trust and affection which he inspired. He was 
deferential to his elders, frank with his equals, help- 
ful to and appreciative of his juniors. Mr. Baker 
writes, " He was true as steel." 

Certainly he had a warm place in the hearts of the 
brotherhood of Methodist preachers. The following 
Resolution of the last Conference is the official ex- 
pression of a common fraternal appreciation of his 
labours, and of the goodwill and affection with whicli 
intercourse with him had inspired his brethren : — 

" The Conference learns with great sorrow that the 
Eev. Dr. Gervase Smith is compelled by failing health 
to seek release from the more active duties of the 
Ministry. In yielding to his request to become a 
Supernumerary, the Conference desires to give per- 


manent expression to its sense of the signal and 
invaluable services which Dr. Smith has rendered to 
the Connexion in almost every department of its 
work. It gratefully recalls his faithful and zealous 
labours as a pastor; his excellent judgment and dis- 
cretion as a Superintendent; his earnest and power- 
ful advocacy of the great institutions of Methodism on 
the platform; and the singular ability with which he 
discharged the duties of its Secretary and President, 
as well as those of its Eepresentative to the Con- 
ference of Australasia. It remembers more particu- 
larly his connection with the Metropolitan Chapel 
Building Fund, the raising of which was so largel}- 
due to his energy and enterprise, and in the adminis- 
tration of which he not only displayed conspicuous 
wisdom and ability, but conferred a lasting benefit 
on the work of God in the Metropolis. Not less 
distinguished was the service which he rendered to 
the Auxiliary Fund, when, on the death of the Eev. 
John Eattenbury, he added to his other labours the 
task of completing the work which that honoured 
servant of God had commenced and carried on. 

"In thus recording its sense of the value of Dr. 
Smith's public service, the Conference cannot forego 
the opportunity of grateful reference to that amiability 


and generosity of character which have endeared him 
to all his brethren, and won for him a multitude 
of friends. It cherishes the hope that its beloved 
brother may be spared for many years to afford the 
Connexion the advantage of his ripened judgment 
and experience ; and it earnestly prays that in his 
retirement he may be cheered by the consolations 
of the Spirit, and by the confident anticipation of 
a happy reunion with those friends and fellow- 
labourers who have already entered into the joy of 
their Lord." 





HAYING enjoyed the great privilege of friendship 
with Gervase Smith for a longer period than 
any other AYesleyan minister, except his cousin, the 
Rev. William T. Nelson, I cannot withhold an honest 
and warm-hearted tribute to his memory. Our mutual 
acquaintance began in boyhood. It must be more 
than half a century since we first met, in my first or 
second vacation as a Grove boy — 1830 or 1831. 
During my twelve years' connection with Woodhouse 
Grove, as scholar and as tutor, I spent, on an average, 
at least one-third of my vacation time at Heanor, 
mainly at the house of a relative of mine, almost directly 
opposite to that in which the father and mother of 
Gervase Smith lived. I was often their guest. My 
appointment on leaving the Grove was Ilkestone, only 
four miles from Heanor, and several of our preaching 
places were nearer still ; so I not unfrequently visited 
Heanor, reckoning Mr. Smith's house as one of my 


principal homes in that, to me, most attractive village. 
Thus my intercourse with Gervase was continued, and 
my knowledge of, and affection and esteem for him, 
were increased. Since that time I have seen much 
of him, — on the Missionary platform, at the houses of 
our common friends, at his own house, and at Com- 
mittees, District Meetings, and Conferences. I propose 
in this paper to confine myself almost exclusively to 
my own reminiscences. 

Gervase Smith, as is well known, was born at the 
little hamlet of Langley, nine or ten miles north of 
Derby, and about a mile and a half from the village 
of Heanor, where the greater part of his boyhood and 
his young manhood were passed. Langley stands on 
the last green spur of the Peak, where that romantic 
stretch of hill country suddenly subsides, from the 
heights of Crich and Matlock, to join the more gently 
undulating uplands and the widening valleys of Not- 
tinghamshire. Langley looks down upon the Erewash, 
which forms the boundary line between the two coun- 
ties. Its cluster of brick houses can be plainly seen 
from the Langley Mill Station on the Erewash Valley 
section of the Midland Bailway. 

But Gervase was not yet four years old when the 
family removed to Heanor, a village of which he says, 


in his beautiful memoir of Joshua Mather : 1 "As the 
traveller passes up the Ere wash Valley, he will see to 
the left a rich sloping greensward, on the summit of 
which stands the picturesque village of Heanor. The 
venerable edifice which crowns the hill tells a sad tale 
of the past. "William Howitt, who is a native of this 
place, has, in his book on Priestcraft, pourtrayed the 
former times of his birthplace in appalling colours. 
But more than half a century ago Methodism was 
introduced, and has here done a noble work. Several 
of its families have given their sons to the ministry." 

Although AVilliam Howitt has made Heanor almost 
idyllic by his Rural Life in England, Boy's Country 
Booh, etc., yet it was no mere sleepy, dwindling agri- 
cultural parish. Populous new neighbourhoods had 
sprung up within its bounds, which owed their exist- 
ence and prosperity to the rich coal-measures, and to 
the thriving lace trade ; the ponderous black mineral 
and the delicate, white floral fabric combining to 
employ the energies and to repay the industry of a 
o< immunity to which Dr. Smitli justly attributed, in 
his opening speech from the chair of the Conference, 
" a sturdy and almost rude independence." A con- 
siderable number of stocking frames, with the neces- 

1 See Wcdeyan Methodist Magazine for July 1869. 


sary accompaniment of framesmiths' shops, contributed 
still further to the support of a busy population, num- 
bering between four and five thousand. 

Gervase Smith's parents were noteworthy persons. 
They were a most happily-assorted couple ; mutually 
supplementary and complementary. In physique the 
one was the antithesis of the other. The father was 
a spare, sinewy, quick-moving man, with eager, keen, 
and thoughtful look. He was rather under than over 
the middle height. Strength of purpose was strongly 
stamped upon every feature. His whole bearing was 
at once respectful and self-respecting. He wasted no 
words, and till towards the close of life was remarkably 
undemonstrative. The mother had a well-developed 
frame, and a face beaming with kind-heartedness and 
cheerfulness. The smile of her greeting was like a sud- 
den sun-gleam. The characteristics of his parents, the 
strength of the one and the sweetness of the other, were 
in Gervase beautifully blent. When I first knew him, 
Mr. Smith, sen., had, by indomitable industry, incisive 
shrewdness, and manifold resource, already achieved a 
prominent position amongst his neighbours, employing 
a considerable number of hands, and living in one of 
the largest houses in the village. He was a self-made, 
man. When, after years of steady acquisition, there 


came to him " a time to lose," through an attempt to 
combine farming with his other businesses, he proved 
that worldly prosperity had never taken an undue hold 
upon his heart. His temper was not soured, but per- 
ceptibly softened and sweetened, by his reverses ; and 
his manners took on a warmth and openness, and even 
a winningness, which did not characterize him in more 
successful years. When riches increased he had never- 
set his heart on them. He had secured for his chil- 
dren the purest Christian nurture and discipline, and 
a good general education, and by his Christian hospi- 
talities and his perennial contributions to the cause of 
God, he had protected himself against the deleterious 
influences of secular success. 

In 1868 he died, in the full triumph of faith, in 
his seventy -fifth year. Mrs. Smith died, in like 
manner, in 1870, aged seventy-one. They lie side 
by side in the burial-ground of the chapel to which 
they had been so long and so loyally attached. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith were steady, hearty 
Methodists. They held to John Wesley's maxim: 
" Get all you can ; save all you can ; give all you can." 
Though they had fifteen children, seven sons and eh-ht 
daughters, they took care to give them all the very 
b*st schooling within their reach. 


Edward, the eldest, received an expensive medical 
education at Paris and elsewhere. I spent a very 
interesting evening with him just after his return from 
Paris, and found him characterized by keen intelli- 
gence and refined yet unaffected manners. He com- 
menced practice in Birmingham, where I had the 
privilege of visiting him several times, especially 
during the Conference of 18-i4, when his guests were 
the then venerable Eichard Eeece, and the now vener- 
able John Farrar. He afterwards became physician 
to the Brompton Hospital, a Fellow of the Eoyal 
Society, and a well-known and widely-influential lec- 
turer and writer, and was regarded as an authority 
both at home and on the Continent. He wore himself 
out by hard work, dying at the age of fifty-five. When 
Gervase returned from Canada, he was met on the 
landing-stage by Mr. Hirst, and conducted to the 
bedside of his dying brother. 

One of his sisters, Anne Smith, was married to Mr. 
Lewis, sometime Mayor of Cape Town, where she died, 
greatly respected and beloved. Agnes was married to Mr. 
Pickels, for some years Circuit Steward in Manchester 
(Irwell Street). She died last year. She was a noble 
woman, manifesting all the fine elements in the charac- 
ter of her brother Gervase. Eliza died, much beloved 


and lamented, shortly after her marriage with Mr. 
Thomas Crispin, now Circuit Steward of Huddersfield 
(Queen Street), Circuit, Sarah was killed by an accident 
in 1840. George Smith is a clergyman of the Church 
of England. Matilda is the wife of the Rev. J. A. 
Armstrong, now of Leeds. Hannah is married to Mr. 
A. W Brentnall, of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. Joseph 
is a magistrate in India, in which country Sidney 
also holds a good position. They were a remarkable 
family, reflecting great credit on their parents and on 

Methodism in Heanor was during the boyhood and 
younger manhood of Gervase Smith in a most vigorous 
and healthy state. 1 The Society was lively and united. 
There was a charmed circle of ten or more comfortably- 
conditioned and still advancing Methodist families, 
who seemed to be but branches of one great Christian 
household, who rejoiced to entertain the preachers 
with an unstinted hospitality, at whose houses it 
seemed as if Methodist Ministers and Ministers' chil- 
dren could never wear out welcomes. They were 
" succourers of many, and of myself also." They 
were wonderfully tender of each other's reputation, 

1 A glimpse of this may be caught in Dr. Smith's M< moir oj Joshua 


and lenient and loving in their judgments. How- 
hearty, how hospitable, and how happy they were ! 
There were also literally " a good few " books among 
them, mainly Methodist, though some book-shelves 
held very choice works, not often found in any but the 
best libraries. 

The man who gave the key-note to the Society was 
the above-mentioned Joshua Mather, leader, local 
preacher, and singer. Gervase met in his class. 

The Methodism of Heanor, if not an intellectually 
cultured, was yet an intellectually active Christianity. 
Amongst the ministers stationed in the Belper Circuit 
(to % which Heanor then belonged) some were very 
thoughtful and richly-read men, as their sermons and 
their table-talk abundantly proved. I will only men- 
tion those who are gone (alas, but three are left !) — 
Josiah Goodwin, John Smedley, Daniel S. Tatham, 
and John G. Cox. I may also say that Gervase Smith 
very often spoke to me about the incalculable advan- 
tage which he had derived from the preaching and the 
conversation of my "grand old father," as Gervase 
designated him, who very often preached at Heanor, 
not unfrequently spending three or more days in suc- 
cession at the house of Mr. Smith. During the twenty 
years of his Supernumerar)-ship he must have occupied 


the Heanor pulpit more times than almost any other 
man. The spiritual and intellectual benefit which the 
young people of the families who entertained the 
preachers derived from their conversation and their 
domestic ministrations is incalculable. 

There was also a notable body of Local Preachers, 
most of whom took very earnest pains in the prepara- 
tion of their sermons, and who kept each other up to 
the mark. I will name one only, William Bourne, 
afterwards of City Eoad, London, whose Funeral Sermon 
Dr. Smith preached and published, with a sketch of 
his character and life ; and who was the proximate 
instrument in my own conversion to God. As there 
were but three Ministers in a Circuit which extended 
full fifteen miles north and south, and eleven miles 
east and west, including three market towns and a 
large number of thickly-set villages, with a plentiful 
population — mining, manufacturing, and agricultural — 
the staff of Local Preachers formed a very important 
arm of the service. 

All these agencies had their effect in developing 
the mind and forming the character of Gervase Smith ; 
and they have the stronger claim to be noted, inas- 
much as his early conversion is not traceable to any 
direct individual instrumentality. In his statement 


of experience before ordination he attributed bis 
conversion to " various influences," emphasizing only 
that of his mother. In a striking little lyric com- 
posed at the time when he felt " nature's strength 
decay" (in December, 1878), and published in the' 
Canadian Methodist Magazine, and afterwards in the 
Christian Miscellany for March, 1880, entitled The 
Call, he makes affecting allusion to successive calls : 
the call which issued in his early conversion ; his call 
to a life of Christian service ; his call to the separated 
ministry ; and his call to heaven. The conception is 
fine. He recognises the continuity, the identity of 
The % Call throughout. Its biographical value as the 
compressed experience of Gervase Smith, Preacher of 
the Gospel, is inestimable. 

" Sturdy," but in no degree " rude independence," 
simplicity, frankness, industry, heartiness, homeliness, 
were among his most prominent features. These 
qualities, combined with others equally attractive — 
cheerfulness, geniality, obligingness, serviceableness — 
made him a prodigious favourite with his fellow 
Methodists at least. Heanor was seven miles from 
Belper, and Gervase, having that which Mr. Wesley 
reckons amongst the choice gifts of God, a good 
address, and having, moreover, a good horse at his 


command, was the plenipotentiary of the Society when 
any negotiations had to he transacted with the Super- 
intendent or any of the more sought-for preachers. 

After our conversion he and I foregathered pretty 
often. There was not seven months' difference in our 
ages, he heing the younger. He was a delightful com- 
panion. His manners were positively charming. He 
had the very scarce virtue of hearing admonition 
without the slightest sign of annoyance. 

He heard me make my first Missionary speech, in 
the old chapel, Heanor, and also heard me preach my 
first sermon (the second time of preaching it); and he 
took the most generous interest in the crude produc- 
tions and the awkward, yet not unambitious flights of 
his inexperienced coeval. 

When he too began to preach, we used, as oppor- 
tunity offered, to compare notes. Once, when I was 
his father's guest, we occupied the same bedroom, and 
he kept me awake great part of the night discussing 
the proper treatment of texts, especially of the one he 
had just then wpo% the stocks: "0 that thou hadst 
hearkened to My commandments," etc. 

The person who induced (iervase Smith to begin 
preaching was Thomas Xewton, a Supernumerary mini- 
ster, who rented the sweetly-situated house, garden, 



and paddock of Heanor Fall, the whilom residence of 
the Kedferns, the maternal grandparents of William 
Howitt, where Howitt himself spent the happiest 
months of his boyhood, making it the headquarters 
of the rural expeditions commemorated in his Boy's 
Country Book. This choice property had come into 
the hands of Mr. Smith. Thomas Newton had a 
noble presence, and a military bearing which procured 
for him, amongst his rustic neighbours, the soubriquet, 
" Th' owd General." He was greatly respected and 
beloved even by his rustic neighbours. I remember 
hearing one of the roughest of colliers, by no means a 
Methodist, give as the reason for abstaining from a 
course *of conduct very much to his own liking: "Ah 
canna' do ought as 'ud anger th' owd General." 

The schooling of Gervase Smith had three stages. 
His first school was that conducted by Mr. Thomas 
Eoscoe, in the neighbourhood of Heanor, which had 
not only achieved a high local repute, but also 
attracted pupils from a considerable distance ; for 
example, William Morley Punshon from Doncaster. 
Our brethren, the Eevs. W T. Nelson and Georse 
Alton, were also his schoolfellows there. Mr. Eoscoe 
was a competent, good-natured, resolute teacher, with a 
somewhat commanding presence, and the easy manners 


of a country squire or doctor, rather than the stiffness of 
a strict and peremptory pedagogue. He was a Congre- 
gationalism but Catholic-spirited. His father, an Inde- 
pendent minister, who took a certain oversight of the 
religious side of the education, looked as solemn and 
immoveable as " the Decrees," of which he was a firm 
asserter. Albeit, he was much respected and looked up 
to, both by his own congregation and the general public. 

My friend's next schoolmaster was a thorough 
Methodist — the son of a Methodist minister, and the 
brother of a Methodist minister — the graceful, win- 
ning, and cultivated Mr. Thomas Eussell, of Mack- 
worth, near Derby. This school was well looked after 
by the Derby ministers, who regularly preached and 
held prayer-meetings in the schoolroom. From Mack- 
worth, Gervase proceeded to Wesley College, Sheffield. 

Gervase was intended for the law, but was clearly 
called to the Christian Ministry. "When he entered it 
he had a fine physique and was in vigorous and high- 
toned health. His frame was well-proportioned and 
well-knit. He seemed built for a long life of energetic, 
joyous service. He owed his firmness of nerve and 
his buoyancy of animal spirits in a great degree to his 
passion for horse-exercise. In plodding my weary 
way to an evening village appointment in the like- 


stone Circuit, my musings have been suddenly broken 
by the sound of a galloping steed behind me, and 
almost before I could glance round, the cheery voice 
of my friend Gervase would hail me. 

I saw nothing of my friend during his student life 
at Didsbury or the years of his probation ; but being 
the Minister of the Conference Chapel, Great Thornton 
Street, at the time of the first Hull Conference (1848), 
at which he was ordained, I renewed my intercourse 
with him. A few weeks after that we met again, on 
a Sunday morning, in Poplar Chapel, London. He 
was on his wedding-tour; and with characteristic 
tenacity of affection, had brought his bride to hear 
his old friend. The next time I saw him was at the 
London Conference of 1850. The Connexion was 
then writhing in the fiercest spasm of the " Reform " 
agitation, and he had been in the thick of the fight ; 
for Methodist history, as well as the history of 
England, has its famous Battle of Wakefield. Gervase 
Smith's second year after ordination, his last at Wake- 
field, was a terribly testing time. His Superintendent 
was that grim veteran, the old ex-President, William 
Atherton. His two other colleagues were his studious 
and retiring fellow-countyman J. T. Milner, and the 
gentle-spirited, non-combatant Peter C. Horton. They 


were all thorough-going and intrepid in support of the 
Superintendent's disciplinary action, but the young 
man Gervase was his armour-bearer. A loyal respect 
for constituted authority, reverence for the fathers 
in the Ministry, and a chivalrous allegiance to the 
institutions and the constitution of Methodism, seemed 
part of his personality ; and at Didsbury he had 
already been conspicuous amongst his fellows for all 
these manly qualities. His interest in the stormy 
discussions of that protracted, anxious Conference was 
eager even to excitedness ; but his geniality and good 
temper never failed him. 

During his three years at York I saw nothing of 
him, being myself stationed in the South ; but I know 
what a firm hold he took on the affections and the 
esteem of the Methodists in that fine old city, 
especially of the older members, such as Mr. Meek 
(sometime Lord Mayor of York); and the high ex- 
pectations they cherished as to his future eminence. 
But during his term at Huddersfield I had many 
opportunities of intercourse with him, and also of 
hearing him speak, being stationed in the neighbour- 
ing Circuit, Barnsley. I found him unchanged, but 
developed. He took great pains in the preparation of 
his sermons, but still more in the elaboration of his 


speeches. I never knew a popular speaker who 
cultivated variety and freshness in his speeches so 
systematically as did Gervase Smith. During his 
Huddersfield term it was his rule to compose one 
missionary speech every month; and though I have 
heard from him so many speeches in various parts of 
the kingdom, during a quarter of a century, at least, 
the leading features of every one of which I can recall, 
I cannot remember hearing the same speech twice — 
or even any telling passage, anecdote, illustration, 
recitation, or any little play of useful pleasantry. 
Whoever fancies that the serviceable popularity of 
Gervase Smith was won without painstaking is very 
much mistaken. 

Whilst in Huddersfield he published a highly- 
pictorial sermon, entitled The Mirage, which he showed 
me in manuscript. He had before this issued a small 
volume, a Memoir of Mr. Oliver, of Glossop, Derby- 
shire, his own second Circuit. This was too hastily 
written, so the best was not made of the rare materials 
furnished by the very uncommon career of a very 
uncommon man. 

My limits will not admit of an account of my very 
frequent intercourse with my dear old friend during 
the last twenty-five years of his life. And of this 


there is no need. Throughout that period he was a 
public man. I will only say that though we were so 
often thrown together, especially during the last fifteen 
years, when we were both resident in London, I never 
found him anything else but Gervase Smith : a per- 
sonality with the idea of which I should find it 
impossible to associate anything small. We did not 
always, though we did generally, agree in our views of 
questions of importance to the interests of God's cause. 
"We had many a stiff discussion. But during the half 
century of our acquaintance there never was a jarring 
note between us, our very differences — of mental 
structure, mental habitudes, modes of looking at things 
and points of view — only seemed to dovetail and to 
fasten us the more closely together. 

To two things I must, however, allude. During 
the Bristol Conference of 1877 we were both enter- 
tained at the hospitable home of Mr. Pethick, sen., 
along with the brethren John Harvard and John 
Walton. Dr. Smith (he had just before received his 
degree) was even then in feeble and precarious health. 
Though most assiduous in attention to the business of 
the Conference, he was quite unable to undertake any 
public service, or indeed to attend more than a very 
few. Within a very short time after the close of 


Conference he was to embark for Australasia : an expedi- 
tion to which he would not have ventured to commit 
himself, but with the hope that the enforced rest and 
the tonic virtue of a long voyage would fully com- 
pensate for the bodily and mental strain which his 
commission could not but involve. Yet weak as he 
evidently was, his interest in Connexional matters was 
most active and intense, and his cheerfulness was 
redundant. I was never so much struck with his 
hearty enjoyment of a pleasantry at his own expense. 
No one more uniformly illustrated the irrepressible 
and inexhaustible hilarity of Methodist Ministers in 
each other's company. Yet his prayers at family 
worship were impressively solemn and importunate. 

Another point which I must crave leave to touch on 
is — his ever-thoughtful and assiduous tenderness to- 
wards his old friend during the year of my Presidency. 
He spared no pains to prevent my undertaking a 
larger amount of work than my strength would admit, 
and to ease my labours and protect my health and 
husband my energies to the very utmost. 

But I must now pass to the closing scene. The 
first grave symptom of the disease which brought him 
to his rest appeared so long ago as 1867, when he 
was Superintendent of the City Eoad Circuit. He 


suffered much during the year of his Presidency 
(1875), and was obliged to limit himself — with but 
one exception — to one service a day. He had a 
prostrating attack whilst in the chair at Sheffield, 
and was obliged to withdraw for a time. His calm, 
sweet cheerfulness in suffering and prostration struck 
me much. At the session of the London District 
Meeting, held that year in Cambridge, he was obliged 
to devolve his duties on the ex- President, Dr. Punshon- 
In still later years he was not unfrequently disabled 
from preaching for months at a time. 

In December, 1880, he experienced a slight stroke 
of paralysis. He last preached at Bromley, Novem- 
ber 28 th. He suffered from a complication of dis- 
tressing ailments, the core of which was heart-disease. 
The final and fatal development was dropsy. He 
was obliged to spend much time away from home, 
mostly at Matlock. His last public service was in 
his native county, laying the foundation-stone of the 
new Wesleyan chapel at Matlock Bridge, on Feb- 
ruary 15th, 1882. During his last stay at Matlock 
— November, 1881, to March 31st, 1882 — his 
strength gradually declined. He became conscious 
that the deadly disease was steadily gaining ground. 
He very frequently expressed entire resignation to the 


will of God, often quoting the verse, " In suffering be 
thy love my peace," etc. His most frequent exclama- 
tions were: "My Jesus!" "My Father!" "Father, 
take my hand !" On returning home from Matlock 
he went at once to his bedroom, which he never left. 

My last interview with my dear old friend was 
some forty hours before he breathed his last. Brother 
W Hirst and I met at the door of his house. The 
domestic who opened it was weeping so bitterly that 
we feared all must be over. The answer to our 
inquiry was, "He is just passing away." Mrs. Tindall, 
being informed of our arrival, asked us to follow her 
into the room of death. On entering, we found the 
family gathered round him, with Mrs. and Miss 
Eattenbury. They were, as they thought, singing him 
to his last sleep — his sleep in Christ. The words 
were, " There we shall see his face," etc. We stepped 
in so noiselessly, and the group were so absorbed in 
their requiem, that our presence was not perceived 
till they had finished the line, " Then let our songs 
abound." Our joining the company caused an involun- 
tary pause ; Dr. Smith, evidently thinking they had 
forgotten the next line, opened his eyes, and with 
a natural movement of the hand, and a faint and 
imperfect articulation, prompted them, in the tone of 


one who helps another to recall some familiar but for 
the time forgotten words : " And every tear be dry!' 
Whereat our tears flowed more freely, though less 
sadly than before. When the verse was ended, he said, 
" Sing it again." Then I pressed his hand, and spoke 
to him of those who had gone before. His recognition 
was immediate, and his responses, though brief and 
difficult, were clear-minded and direct. Mr. Hirst 
then grasped his hand, asking, "Do you know me ?" 
" Don't I !" he replied, and held his friend's hand for 
some minutes, whilst we talked of the reunion above. 
He said he should soon overtake Dr. Punshon. He 
then asked us to pray with him. We both prayed. 
As soon as we had finished, he lifted up his hands, 
and with a firm, distinct enunciation, in startling 
contrast with his former painful utterances, he pro- 
nounced the words : " The grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the 
Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore." To which we 
sobbed, " Amen." 

So fittingly was closed the earthly ministry of 
Gervase Smith, — in psalmody and benediction. 

Mr. Hirst writes : " I shall never forget this in- 
terview ; truly we were ' quite in the verge of heaven.'" 

His whole bearing was so &/b-like, so Gervase-like, 


so full of naturalness, that the unnaturalness of dying 
seemed almost "done away," and we could but feel as 
if we had been commending him to God on occasion 
of another embarkation in the service of the Church, 
rather than on the chill wading of the Jordan. 

During the evening he reverted to this interview, 
but a few hours afterwards he sank into a sleep from 
which he did not fully awake till a few moments 
before he slept in Jesus. He then gave an intelligent 
and earnest Amen to the last intercessions of his 
relatives and other devoted ministrants, and a hearty 
assent to the expression of their confidence as to his 
salvation through the merits of Christ. He replied by 
a heavenly smile to the promise that his family would 
meet him in heaven ; and then his head fell back, 
and he was gone. 

As I am but recording my own recollections of a 
dear old friend, I have not attempted to chronicle 
events already well known to the Methodist public ; 
nor shall I now essay any characterization of one with 
whose gifts and graces the whole Wesleyan Methodist 
community in Great Britain, Ireland, America, and 
Australasia are so well acquainted. My own estimate 
of his mental and spiritual personality after an ac- 
quaintance of half a century, and a friendship of full 


forty-four years, I have already incidentally conveyed. 
A few matters, however, I think I ought to note, as 
fairly coming under the head of personal recollections. 

I. Gervase Smith was the genuine product of 
Methodism. His views, his convictions, his principles, 
his experience, his aims — one might almost say his 
consciousness — were all frankly Methodist. On some 
points, his notions, at least in earlier and middle life, 
were stricter than those of "Wesley himself. He was 
also, like many another serviceable and even dis- 
tinguished Methodist Minister, the rich product of 
village Methodism. Throughout his course his spirit 
breathed the simplicity, homeliness, and healthiness 
of rural life ; and his speeches and his mode of con- 
ducting business alike showed a plenitude of mother- 
wit. His was a robust Christianity. 

II. He was a sound and earnest Methodist Preacher. 
Whatever play he gave to his fancy, he always aimed 
at edification and conviction. His pulpit prayers were 
sometimes very powerful, especially in the range and 
ardour of intercession in the opening supplication. 

III. He was a very effective platform-man. He 
specially cultivated platform oratory, duteously re- 
cognising his special gift as a special calling to that 
important part of Christian service. Though essentially 


a popular orator — energetic and sometimes impetuous 
declamation being at once his forte and his weakness — 
lie was withal a thoroughly good speaker : he knew 
how to select and marshal facts and arguments with 
a view to intelligent practical conviction. When at 
his best in physical condition, and thoroughly at home 
with his audience, and under a happy afflatus, the 
immediate effect was such as to overleap criticism and 
leave it behind. There was a siuing in his rhetoric 
which bore the audience along with it. The best 
description of Gervase Smith's platform -powers is that 
given by Eliza Hessel (True Womanhood, p. 136) : 

"Gervase Smith surprised me. I had only heard him preach once. 
There was nothing in what I then heard to warrant the expectation of 
such a speech as last night's. His rapid utterance, though it makes 
the general effect of his speech more brilliant, leaves you no time to 
enjoy the detail, or more properly, the component parts. . 
Imagine yourself standing on a lofty Alpine summit, the panorama 
around but dimly seen through the mist and darkness ; suddenly the 
lightnings begin to play ; they leap from rock to rock, from mountain 
to mountain, and you catch a vivid but rapid glance of each fire- 
illumined point, till you have gone through the whole scene in 
succession. Thus did Gervase Smith lead us over almost every nation 
of the earth, flashing the light of the Gospel upon each." 

Add to this the alluring sparkle of harmless and 
good-natured pleasantry, interspersed with apposite 
anecdote and animated recitation, all delivered with 


a voice which defied deafness, and you have an expla- 
nation of the popularity of Gervase Smith. I never 
had the opportunity of hearing him lecture. 

IV, He was a sagacious and a shrewd administrator. 
His essential good-nature and his firm fidelity to the 
interests entrusted to his supervision formed the 
proper base of operations for his mental aptitudes. 
Soundness of heart is wonderfully conducive to clear- 
ness of head. Whilst clinging fondly to the traditions 
of the past, he had enough of the statesman in him to 
see that organization must sometimes be adjusted to 
altered conditions, and to lay to heart the lessons of 
the present, and of the recent as well as of the remoter 
past. He had no lack of firmness or faithfulness ; he 
could indeed, as a last resort, be sharp and curt ; at 
once incisive and decisive. But humour played a 
much more prominent and effective part in his manage- 
ment of men and of affairs. I have heard men whose 
ready wit was much more trenchant in debate ; much 
more brilliant in retort. No one knew better than 
Dr. Bunting how to retreat under cover of an irre- 
sistible witticism, when suddenly outflanked by an 
opponent. But I never met with any one whose 
pleasantries so oiled the wheels of business or the 
waters of strife as that of Gervase Smith. And 


certainly no one within the range of my acquaintance 
could rival him in social life in the felicitous audacity 
of his piquant and often pungent, and yet always 
unoffending, personalities. This was but one of his 
fine social qualities. 

V He had, in a supreme degree, the gift of begging 
for the cause of Christ. He had also the gift of giving. 
His was " the liberal soul." And so " to beg " for 
Christ, he was not " ashamed." Yet I believe he 
never offended any one by annoying, ungraceful, 
much less inquisitorial, pressure. He was no " sturdy 
beggar." He knew that the sun would get a man's 
coin as well as cloak from him, much sooner than the 
wind. With gentle force he elicited generosity whilst 
he solicited a contribution. The cheerful beggar made 
many a cheerful giver. This, too, was a talent which 
he put out to interest. His readiness to go a-begging 
for any straitened department of the work of God was 
positively gallant. On the day on which the statement 
as to the financial condition of the Westminster 
Chapel had to be rendered to Conference, a few 
members of the Committee met after the morning 
sitting for consultation as to the most feasible 
suggestion to be made at the evening session with 
reference to the discharge of the heavy and long- 


lingering debt. We all seemed utterly at a loss. 
Gervase Smith was not present. At last I said : " 0, 
Brother Gervase would get the money for us in a 
wonderfully short time ! " " Ay, if he would under- 
take it, but his hands are full already." " He would 
not hesitate a moment," I replied, " if the Conference 
were to ask him." The idea was timidly and tenta- 
tively thrown out in the course of the evening's 
discussion. Gervase, when appealed to by the Presi- 
dent, consented without any ado ; with what tri- 
umphant success we need not here record. This was 
but one of the labours of tins money-raising Hercules. 
His undertaking the charge of the Auxiliary Fund on 
the death of Mr. Battenbury, in addition to the Metro- 
politan Chapel Building Fund, was a noble act of self- 
sacrificing service, which told severely on his health, 
as he often confessed to me. His career was one of 
hard, ungrudging, manifold labour in the cause of God. 
The loss of Dr. Smith will be felt almost as much 
in Ireland as in England. Xo man ever won more 
of the affection and esteem of our brethren on the 
other side of St. George's Channel than did he and his 
friend Dr. Punshon. His memory will also be long 
kept green in Canada and among our Churches at the 





f\N Tuesday evening, June loth, 1882, in City 
^-^ Road Chapel, London, after preaching an 
appropriate and impressive sermon from the text, 
"' God is not the God of the dead, but of the living" 
(Matt. xxii. 32), Mr. Jenkins read a brief historical 
sketch of Dr. Smith's career, in which he referred to 
his birth and parentage, his early life, his conversion 
to God, his school days, his call to the Ministry, his 
College course, the twenty-five years spent in Circuit 
work, and the eleven years devoted to the Metropolitan 
Chapel Ruilding Fund. 

Reviewing the later life of Dr. Smith, and the 
character of his work, Mr. Jenkins said : — 

In 1873, and again in 1874, the Conference 
showed its appreciation of the personal and Ministerial 
character of Dr. Smith, and of the value of his 


services to the Connexion, by appointing him its 
Secretary. In 1875, he was raised to the highest 
office in the gift of his brethren, that of President of 
the Conference. This appointment gave general 
satisfaction to the Body, chiefly for the manner in 
which the President discharged its duties, whether in 
the chair, or during his year of office. In 1874, the 
second year of his office as Secretary of the Conference, 
Dr. Punshon being President, Dr. Smith was com- 
missioned to represent the Conference in the first 
General Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church 
in the Dominion of Canada. Eespecting this appoint- 
ment the Conference thus expressed itself : " We have 
deputed as our Eepresentative to your Conference the 
Eev. Gervase Smith, M.A., the honoured Secretary of 
our Conference, who enjoys the confidence and affec- 
tion of our Churches." At the earnest solicitation of 
the Conference of 1877, Dr. Smith consented to appear 
as its Eepresentative at the Australasian Conference at 
Sydney, and to visit New Zealand and the Mission 
stations in Polynesia. This visit he undertook, in the 
hope that the voyage and rest would be the means 
of restoring, or at least of improving, his already 
enfeebled health. The result, so far as this hope was 
cherished, whether by himself or by his friends, was 


disappointing. After his return to England, his pub- 
lic labours were so arduous and frequent, that his 
physical strength proved unequal to the strain, and 
visibly declined. But these things moved him not. 
Long had he looked for those changes which sick- 
ness and death involve. As long ago as September 
1853, he wrote thus in his diary : " Heard this morn- 
ing of the death of Grandfather Turner. I saw him 
three weeks ago, when he looked as healthy as usual 
— he is gone ! Oh, my soul ! remember that this 
body is mortal." Seven years later, in January 1860, 
he wrote again : " Another year has fled — the most 
chastening, admonitory year of my life. Bereavement 
has saddened our family circle. During the past 
month I have had a heavy personal affliction. For 
some time I knew not how it would go with me ; but 
oh ! the comfort of knowing that T was in good hands. 
May I be always ready ! " 

Those anticipations, so often expressed in his con- 
versations and journals, were too soon realized. His 
son writes : " The circumstances of his last illness are 
narrated by Mr. Gregory in his 'Recollections.' There 
is no mention, however, of an interesting Sacramental 
Service conducted by Mr. Sharr in the sick-room on 
Easter Sunday afternoon. All who were present on 

36 • ADDRESS. 

that occasion felt it good to be there." The same 
loving hand thus describes the closing scene : — 

" I reached home about three o'clock on the morning 
of the 21st of April, and found my Father in a semi- 
comatose condition. About nine o'clock, when it was 
proposed that family prayer should be held in his bed- 
room, he assented. Throughout the day he gave but few 
indications of consciousness ; but the medical adviser 
supposed this was because of the effort required, and 
not because consciousness did not exist. The Friday 
passed without much change, though the pulse grad- 
ually grew weaker. About six o'clock on Saturday 
marning, the breathing became much more difficult and 
painful, and the end manifestly approached. At half- 
past seven, the members of the family then at home, 
with relatives, servants, and nurse, gathered round the 
chair in which the invalid had passed the last three 
days, to witness the closing scene, and to commend 
the departing spirit to the Saviour. A few moments 
before death, while prayer was offered, there was an 
intelligent and hearty response to the petitions ; 
earnest assent was given when confidence was ex- 
pressed in the safety of the passing soul, not on the 
ground of works or merit, but simply on the ground of 
Christ's Atonement. We promised to meet him in 


heaven ; and then a beautiful smile lit up the face, the 
head fell back, two or three deep breaths were drawn, 
and the freed spirit passed peacefully away." 

The account to which you have listened will have 
furnished you with the leading facts of an exemplary 
Christian life and a diligent Ministry. The character 
of Dr. Smith offers no problem requiring a painful or 
subtle analysis to bring into harmony motives and 
actions, professions and conduct, apparently irreconcil- 
able. The simplicity and purity of his early home life, 
the reverence for authority inculcated in that home — an 
authority made charming to the children by parental 
saintliness — these privileges laid the foundation of the 
character of the boy, and explain the intrepid honesty, 
the generosity, and the general strength, that after- 
wards distinguished the man. Every event that 
marked the life itself was coloured by the boy 
qualities so happily drawn out and nurtured. His 
conversion at the age of fourteen years was, under 
God, the result of the simple frankness with which he 
dealt with his own spirit, and the unquestioning con- 
fidence with which he received the Gospel message 
from those who were over him in the Lord. His 
call to the Ministry, although previously anticipated 
by suggestions and imitations inseparable from a child 


surrounded by Ministerial friendships and examples, 
was not listened to without a jealous examination of 
motives and indications ; but once accepted, and the 
preacher made, his response to the call was qualified 
by no stipulations. Let the Church find him work to 
do, he would receive it as the task of the Master, and 
bring to it his heart and soul, his mind and strength. 
The same characteristics of simplicity and honesty 
saved him from the serious error of mistaking the 
nature of his talents. He knew what he might try to 
do, and that was the star of his course. He attained 
an excellent approximation to this ideal of his hope. 
He knew what he could not do, and never attempted 
it ; but generously appreciated in other labourers gifts 
which he himself did not possess. Of his pulpit 
power I cannot speak from intimate personal know- 
ledge, but I have several times heard him declaim 
from the Missionary platform, and am prepared from 
these examples of his eloquence to support a testi- 
mony to the vigour and usefulness of his preaching 
which became Connexional. There is an entry in his 
journal written only to meet the eye of the Searcher 
of Hearts, in which I find the following precious revela- 
tion : " Whatever else I have desired, I can say most 
solemnly, in the presence of Jehovah, I have most 


desired the salvation of sinners. The constant and 
all-absorbing subject of my prayer is that I may be a 
useful preacher." It might truly be said of Dr. Smith 
that his pulpit had but one theme : he gloried in the 
Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he preached it as 
if he gloried in it. He not only never forgot it in 
a sermon, but always provided for it. Whatever 
doctrine of theology he happened to be expounding, 
whatever topic of ethics or of duty he happened to be 
enforcing, the sinner always learned before the preacher 
had done, that there was a direct and happy salvation 
for him through the crucified Jesus. Such a ministry 
could not fail of distinction ; and he obtained the 
crown he "was ambitious to win, the saving of many 
souls from death. Those who heard it will not forget 
the Charge which he delivered at the Nottingham Con- 
ference to the young Ministers who were then ordained. 
He drew a picture of an unfaithful ambassador which 
could onlv have come from the hand of one who had 
probed his own spirit by weighing the possibilities of 
apostasy, and who was anxious to guard from stain the 
purity of the brotherhood he loved. 

Referring again to his public addresses, he brought 
a warm heart and a ready tongue to the Missionary 
platform. He studied the literature of Missions, and 


made a serious business of Missionary advocacy. He 
never confided everything to the inspiration of the 
moment: he never despised it. He constructed his 
arguments upon a popular model, but with careful 
perspicuity ; he collated his facts with diligence, and 
made an adroit use of quotation and anecdote, never 
trifling with his theme, but exalting it. Few speakers 
have rendered the Missionary Society more effective 
service than Gervase Smith. 

Among his characteristics as a Pastor, his love for 
children may be specially noted. The young, in the 
houses which he visited as a Pastor, and in the 
homes in which he sojourned during his extensive 
travels in the work of the Connexion, were at once 
drawn to him, and were often led to confide to 
him the secrets no less of their most engrossing 
temporal interests than of their religious anxieties 
and hopes. 

In reading extracts from his private journal, I 
have been touched by the poignancy of his reflections 
upon himself and his work, discovering a very 
strong fencing of his heart against the insidious cur- 
rents of popular applause. I believe his work was 
pure, and the vigilance with which he watched it was 
probably awakened, at any rate sustained, by a per- 


vading apprehension of death. He never expected 
old age ; and after a serious sickness in 1860 he 
writes, " I am living under the constant impression of 
coming death. May I be always ready ! " He worked 
at too high a pressure not to be exposed to frequent 
intimations that the strain could not last. But a 
more cheerful worker never put his hand to the 
plough. The most onerous and complicated duties 
never touched the gaiety of his spirit. He was con- 
spicuous, moreover, for the variety of his work. 
Methodism, more than any other Church, demands 
from her Ministers the faculty of administration ; and 
Dr. Smith was a master in departmental labour. He was 
at home in the details, the discussions, and the usages 
of Connexional Committees. He worked harder than 
he talked ; but his words, though few, would frequently 
relieve the discussion of something which blocked 
it, and hasten on the business of the session. His 
good-humour was sometimes better than other people's 
arguments. It is unnecessary for me to describe the 
departmental service of Dr. Smith ; it has become part 
of our Connexional history, and has recently found 
expression in the official records of Methodism. 
What is left for us to add and remember is this, 
that whatever the duty entrusted to him by the 


Church, he accepted it cheerfully, he applied himself 
to it conscientiously, he discharged it ably. When- 
ever his brethren put work upon, him, he considered 
that they put honour upon him. This temper in- 
vested all his public life with the charm that made 
Gervase Smith the fast friend, the trusted colleague, 
and the popular official in the Circuit and Depart- 
mental life of Methodism. 

The following note was written to Dr. Punshon 
after Dr. Smith was stricken with the disease that 
ultimately laid him low. The handwriting has a 
pathetic appearance : — 

* " 13 Leigh Eoad, Highbury Park, N., Jan. 20th. 
" My dear Fkiend Punshon, — I find it hard work 
to write, so excuse a short note ; but I want to write 
and tell you how I am getting on. This heavy 
affliction is working a good result. You 'know I 
have never talked as much on religious topics as I 
ought, but I have often felt much I have had a 
fearful spiritual struggle for the last ten days, but 
I have been wonderfully delivered. I have made 
long examinations and many vows. I can't tell you 
the unutterably humbling views I have had of myself. 
I scarcely dare look into the wretchedness of the 


service done — the motives and purposes and actions — 
they won't bear looking at yet. I think surely no 
such poor, unworthy service has ever been offered. 
' My soul, as in the dust, I hide !' But oh ! the 
mercy of the Lord. I have had glorious views of 
the mercy and fulness of the Saviour. My rest on 
Him is absolute and constant. Living or dying, I am 
the Lord's. You may think of the struggle I have 
had to give up all. But I feel the victory to be 
complete and all of His grace. Heb. vii. 25, I 
hang on continually; and verse 2, Hymn 209, I 
realize hour by hour, so that, whatever the Lord will 
do with me, I rest in His hands. It may please the 
Lord to raise me up a little to show His mercy, or I 
may suddenly go to the rest. Good-bye. God bless 
and keep you. 

" I am, yours very affectionately, 

" Gervase Smith. 
" ttev. Dr. Punshon." 







IT may be prudent to state at the outset that while 
the subject before us is vastly important, both 
as to our national history and the progress of religious 
truth, it is difficult to make it popular. There are a 
few word artists, who, adorning whatever they touch, 
can make any topic attractive. But such a gift is of 
rare bestowment ; and the great bulk of talkers and 
writers, when they discuss an important but unattrac- 
tive subject, must be content to ignore personal 
reputation, and stand upon their theme. 

Whoever, among us ordinary men, would dream of 
painting the foundations of St. Paul's Cathedral so as 
to make them look brilliant to a public audience ? 
If we began above ground, we might tell in high- 
sounding language of the different orders of archi- 
tecture, and compare the respective ages of the Gothic 
as to door, and dome, and windows ; and to an unpro- 
fessional ear, the jingle of scientific terms, culled from 
the encyclopedia, might sound grandly. But how any 
pencil can make the deep and uncouth foundations 
radiate with beauty is a mystery. And yet surely 
there was no part of that magnificent pile more 



important in the judgment of Sir Christopher Wren 
than the basement storey on which the mighty super- 
structure rests. Now, what the foundation is to 
St. Paul's Cathedral, "Wycliffe was, humanly speaking, 
to the glorious temple of the Eeformation. 

It would be difficult to invest a tree root with any 
great attractiveness. Let us begin at the surface of 
the ground, and in gay colours, perhaps, we might put 
before you the gigantic trunk, and the wide-spreading 
branches, and the beautiful blossom, and the golden 
fruit, and we could certainly make it look something 
like a son of the forest, even though, doubtful of our 
success, and in imitation of the old painters, we did 
write underneath, " This is a tree." But we must 
despair of giving special interest to that which is 
underground. And yet what those unseen, wide- 
spreading roots are to the stately form and shade 
above, Wycliffe was, under God, to the tree of civil 
and religious liberty which now overspreads our land, 
the leaves and fruit of which are for the healing and 
sustenance of the nations. 

That must be a skilful hand which could invest 
the gloom of night with grace and beauty. If the 
glories of the day-time were our theme, we might 
aspire to eloquence. The sun, the sky, the floods, the 
fields, the flowers, would bring us inspiration : 

"There's music in the sighing of a reed ; 
There's music in the gushing of a rill ; 
There's music in all things, if men had ears ; 
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres." 

But who of common poets would stake his little 
reputation on a song in praise of the 


' ' Sable goddess, who from her ebon throne, 
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth 
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world " ? 

But, stop ! we must not forget that even in the 
darkest watch there is one point of light, beautiful 
in itself, but far more beautiful in its promise of the 
coming day : 

' ' Xow the bright morning star, day's harbinger, 
Comes dancing from the east." 

"What that star of the morning is to the coming 
sunshine and the after glory, John Wycliffe was to 
the day of light and liberty and blessing which now 
shines on us. If his life and times be not excitinc 
to the crowd, they will be full of interest to the 
thoughtful patriot and Christian. The living author, 
who beyond all others has given labour to this subject, 
says : — " In English history, Wycliffe is known as the 
first man who dared to advocate the free circulation of 
the Scriptures in the vernacular tongue, the unalienable 
right of private judgment, and our complete deliverance 
from the wiles and oppressions of a papal priesthood, 
uniting with these excellencies all the elements of 
that enlightened piety which adorned the Christian 
profession in its purer ages. . Compared with the 
most illustrious of the men who during the sixteenth 
century adopted so much of his creed, he will be 
found to be equal to the greatest, and the superior of 
most. Had his career been far less efficient, it will 
be remembered that the struggle at Thermopylas does 
not affect us less because it was a failure. And if 
many of the questions which occur in his writings are 
now in a great measure obsolete, the man who can be 


indifferent to the steps by which his liberties were 
acquired has scarcely learnt to value them as he 

As the historian looks at this celebrated name a 
threefold picture rises up before him. The first scene 
is at Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, nearly five centuries 
aero. It was on the 29th of December 1384 that 
a venerable-looking man descended from the rough- 
hewn pulpit of St. Mary's Church, and took his 
stand by the communion table. The emblems of 
our Saviour's dying were spread before him. And 
while in the solemn act of consecration, a heavenly 
messenger whispered to him, " The Master calleth for 
thee ; " he gently fell into that old oaken chair, which 
is yet preserved; was carried out of the church by 
his sorrowing people ; in a few hours his spirit was 
"carried higher — "by the angels into Abraham's bosom." 
Some days after this, there was a sad funeral there, for 
nearly all the parishioners were mourners. The solemn 
procession passed from the rectory house to the church 
chancel, and in the vault beneath were deposited the 
remains of England's great reformer, "in sure and 
certain hope of the joyful resurrection to eternal life." 
This hope of the stricken villagers, as it respects the 
future glory, was well founded, and shall by and by 
be realized ; but if it had any reference to the undis- 
turbed quiet of the good man's grave, it was soon cut 
off, as the second part of the picture will show. 

In 1414 (some thirty years after Wycliffe's death) 
the Roman emperor Sigismund convened a general 
council in the quaint old German town of Constance. 
There were present "30 cardinals, 20 archbishops, 


150 bishops, as many prelates, a great number of 
abbots and doctors, and 1800 priests." Nearly all the 
sovereigns of Europe were there, either in person or 
by their representatives; and the company of strangers 
brought to "somewhat long residence in the small 
town of Constance amounted to 100,000 persons." 
The object was twofold : to put an end to the strife 
occasioned by the simultaneous election of two popes, 
each of whom claimed to be the only infallible suc- 
cessor of St. Peter ; and also to suppress the heresy of 
Wycliffe and his followers. The celebrated John Huss 
was summoned to this council; and, trusting to the 
guarantee of safety which the emperor had given, 
went, and put himself into the mouth of the lion. A 
"safe-conduct," even signed by Sigismund himself, 
was not worth the paper on which it was written, if 
held by a heretic, and John Huss was soon committed 
to the flames. When required to concur in Wycliffe's 
condemnation, he promptly refused, and nobly said, 
"I am content that my soul should be where his 
soul is." 

Jerome of Prague was another victim. He endured 
a longer torture, but the release came, and he passed 
through the fire to heaven. 

Put before these two men were formally arraigned, 
the case of the English heresiarch was disposed of. 
Forty- five articles, said to be taken from Wycliffe's 
writings, and already condemned in England, at Rome, 
and Prague, were now condemned again. Subsequently 
two hundred and sixty more articles were declared to 
be heretical. The decree of heresy was pronounced ; all 
the works of the Reformer, wherever found, were to be 


burnt ; and the very bones of the poor persecuted man 
were ordered to be exhumed and reduced to ashes. 

For thirteen years this decree was an idle letter ; 
and then the third part of our picture is seen. In 
1428, the Eoman pontiff, whose soul had long been 
vexed at the unexecuted decree of Constance, sent an 
order to Archbishop Chicheley, requiring its immediate 
fulfilment. He, committed it to Fleming, Bishop of 
Lincoln and Diocesan of Lutterworth, a man who 
in earlier life was an adherent of Wycliffe, but had 
sunk again into the mire of Eomanism, and had thus 
been promoted for his apostasy. These, with their 
subordinates, make their way to Lutterworth to rifle 
the dead man's tomb. They give their orders, and the 
paving-stones behind the old oak screen are taken up. 
^ A coffin, with more than forty years of decay upon it, 
is raised to the chancel floor. They pronounce it to 
be that of the heretic. They carry it through that 
old doorway which looks upon the river, and then 
down the narrow road which winds towards the bridge. 
Some of the older inhabitants, who were looking on, 
could remember the funeral, and the younger ones had 
been told of it as a great thing of the past. The 
mercenaries of the priesthood kindled a fire upon the 
bridge, and the bones of the immortal "Wycliffe were 
consumed to ashes. Then, to complete their deed of 
impotent rage and sacrilege, they threw the smoulder- 
ing dust over the parapet, which fell into and mingled 
with the Swift's flowing stream. On this topic the 
words of Fuller have become immortal : " Thus this 
brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into 
Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the 


main ocean. And so the ashes of Wycliffe are the 
emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the 
world over." Well might Martin Luther, in memory 
of the first Continental martyr, sing these lines of 
confidence and hope : 

' ' Flung to the heedless winds, 
Or on the waters cast, 
Their ashes shall be watched 
And gathered at the last ; 
And from their scattered dust, 
Around us and abroad, 
Shall spring a plenteous seed 
Of witnesses for God. 

" Jesus hath now received 
Their latest, living breath ; 
Yet vain is Satan's boast 
Of victory in their death. 
Still, still, though dead they speak, 
And, trumpet-tongued, proclaim 
To many a wakening land 
The One Availing Name. " 

I must venture on another introductory paragraph. 
It is important that we obtain some clear notion of 
the country's condition when the star of Wycliffe 
rose. Without this we can form no right idea of the 
herculean task he undertook, or of his own motives 
and successes. 

There is difference of opinion as to what part of 
the dark ages may be deemed the darkest ; but if the 
dreariest watch of the night be that which precedes 
the dawn, we are justified in saying that the thirteenth 
century was the nadir of the human mind and there- 
fore the zniith of the papal power. 

The subjection of England to that power was early 


and complete. There was no country in Christendom 
on which the pall of the papacy rested with a deadlier 
chill. From the monarch to the peasant the tyranny 
was perfect. All the legislation and government of the 
land, its feeble commerce, its conscience, its domestic 
and private life, were under the one fell influence. 
England was bowed down and trodden prostrate by 
Rome's iron heel. The long and unworthy reign of 
King John brought the country to its lowest depth. 
In addition to the old tribute which the Pope merci- 
lessly exacted, this wretched sovereign actually put the 
kingdom in pawn, and promised an additional thousand 
marks, a sum equal to £20,000. It is true the scene 
at Eunnymede was soon enacted, and the noble barons 
wrung from him the Magna Charta; but so lowly 
stooped he to the Hierarch, that he requested the 
Pontiff to annul its proceedings. "Well might the 
successor of St. Peter shout with joy : " ' Surely 
England is our garden of delight ! It is an un- 
exhausted well ; and where so much abounds, much 
may be acquired.' No wonder that he thus exulted, 
when his income from England was three times as 
much as that of the king on the throne." 

You will expect that at such a time the morals of 
the country were fearfully corrupt. The luxury and 
excesses of the court are described by Hollinshead. 
Extravagance in dress, for instance, was carried to such 
a pitch, that positively the Government took alarm. 
The historians of that time assert that the excess in 
apparel could be endured no longer. A proposition 
was made in Parliament that there should be a State 
tailor, who should design a particular cut and colour 


for each rank of the population ; so that every man's 
station in life should be known by his coat or 
pantaloons. This proposal was eventually withdrawn ; 
but in 1361 a decree was made, that clerks in holy 
orders should dress according to their position and 

I would fain believe that the ladies of those days 
were not the sinners, but that the gentlemen were in 
the pillory ; and yet truth compels me to state that 
they were equally guilty. For while the men dressed 
themselves in gaudy colours, like fools in a pantomime, 
it was no uncommon thing for one of the fair sex to 
sail into the church on a Sabbath morning with a 
head-gear above her shoulders, from 4 to 5 feet hi^h 
and some 6 or 7 pounds in weight. 

But while these playful references may excite a 
smile, the moral condition of our forefathers wrings the 
heart with anguish. The historian just referred to 
denounces both the Eoyal and Episcopal palaces of 
England as the homes of sensuality and lust. Petrarch 
gives an awful account of the papal court in 1350. 
Chaucer, in his Canterbury Talcs, portrays the morals 
of the land in appalling colours ; and from many other 
sources you gather the fact that papal Britain had well- 
nigh filled up the measure of its iniquity. 

Such was the condition of things at the opening of 
the fourteenth century. Several circumstances occurred, 
however, to mark the coming storm, and the after sun- 
shine. The study of the fine arts upon the Continent, 
and especially in Italy, began to exercise an influence 
upon England. Commerce took a powerful stride ; and 
following the example of the Venetian Republic, our 


ports were astir with enterprise and wealth. Literature 
received a mighty impulse not only in the universities, 
but through the towns and villages of the land ; and 
thus an overruling Providence prepared the way for 
the greatest revival of all. The intellect, the taste, 
the chivalry, the material prosperity of England were 
touched ; and then the pulses of a nation's heart were 
stirred, and longings for a spiritual life were cherished. 
The claims of the papacy were first doubted and then 
challenged. Two honoured names must be mentioned, 
as employed by Heaven to prepare the way for Wycliffe's 
coming and work. 

One is that of Grostete, the memorable Bishop of 
Lincoln. He was regarded as the first man of his age 
for learning, — so much so, that the surrounding world 
called him a magician, — and eventually his erudition 
placed him in the prelate's chair. For more than a 
hundred years before the establishment of the Greek 
professorship in Florence of Boccaccio, he had trans- 
lated Dionysius and Damascenus, and had acquired 
a considerable knowledge of the Hebrew language. 
It was this which led to a study of the Scriptures, 
and put into his hand the weapon with which he 
levelled many a fortress of the papacy. He had lent 
some favour to the Mendicant preachers because of the 
gross ignorance and immorality of his own priests. 
But he soon found that his confidence was misplaced. 
Two Franciscans were sent to England to extort money 
for the Pope. They came to Lincoln and laid a tax 
upon the diocese of £50,000. The impudence of the 
men, and the enormity of their demand, filled Grostete 
with indignation. He ordered them to be gone ; and 


having resolved to manage the finances of his own see, 
he was summoned before the Pope, who condemned 
his conduct. But he dared openly to remonstrate 
with his Holiness, who however rebuked him with pro- 
fane effrontery. Then cried the worthy bishop, " 0, 
money, money, how vast is thy power everywhere — 
how irresistible at Eome ! " and with this utterance he 
returned home a more determined reformer than ever. 
Pope Innocent hurled at him the thunderbolt of ex- 
communication, " and swore by St. Peter and by Paul 
that he was well-nigh resolved to make this ' delirious 
old man,' as he called him, an example and an astonish- 
ment to the world. Is not the King of England," he 
exclaimed, " my vassal, or rather my bond-slave ? and 
could I not, by a single word to him, consign this 
doting priest in a moment to imprisonment and in- 
famy ? " But the sentence fell harmless, and Grostete 
spent his remaining days in sorrowing over the Church's 
sins and preparing for his own change. 

The other name is that of Fitzralph, Archbishop of 
Armagh and Primate of Ireland. He was born atDundalk, 
and was there buried ; but he died at Avignon, whither 
he had gone to reason with the Pope on the abuses 
which were ruining the Church. His whole public life 
was a protest against Eome, and having finished, it is 
said, a translation of the New Testament into the Irish 
language, he died resting on the one sacrifice of Christ. 

The very year in which Fitzralph died saw John 
Wycliffe enter upon his work. 

The history of our hero has three divisions — early 
life, college life, pakochial life. Under one or other 
of these heads the principal facts will come before us. 


We shall soon dispose of the first part, because we 
know, and can therefore say, very little. 

John Wycliffe, whose name, by the way, is spelt in 
sixteen different forms, was born in the year 1324. 
On the banks of the Tees, about 11 miles from Eich- 
mond, and 5 from Barnard Castle, a little hamlet dots 
the sloping greensward, guarded by a castle-looking 
edifice, which stands on an elevated and projecting 
rock. This is the parish of Wycliffe, or Wye-Cliffe, or 
the cliffe near the xoatcr, a name most appropriate to 
the scenery around. The old mansion, as it stood five 
centuries ago, " on the brow of that meadow slope 
overlooking the Tees," was Wycliffe's birth-place, and 
even from the time of the Conquest, down to many 
generations after John was born, was it the residence 
of the Wycliffe family. 

Of his boyhood we know absolutely nothing. This 
may not, however, excite surprise. The biographer of 
John Knox tells us that we are in similar plight with 
regard to that great man, though Ms times are two 
centuries nearer to our own. 

As to Wycliffe's education we may reasonably offer 
a conjecture. There can be no doubt that he would 
receive the best training which the age and neighbour- 
hood could supply. In the early part of the fourteenth 
century, schools were established largely throughout 
the country. Tanner tells us, in his researches, that 
"500 religious houses had risen in England during the 
interval from the Conquest to the reign of John. To 
these houses schools were generally annexed." We may 
fairly conclude, therefore, that the Yorkshire youth was 
well schooled in the Latin language, which was then, 


in fact, " the only key to knowledge," as well as in the 
usual elements of science. 

Of his college life we have more accurate informa- 
tion. He was sixteen or seventeen years of age when 
he left home for Oxford, or Oxenforde, as the Queenly 
City was then generally called. A journey from the 
north of York to this place was in those days no trifle. 
We who can easily breakfast in London, and dine in 
Paris, and after doing a large stroke of business there, 
get home for business the next morning, cannot realize 
the dangers and difficulties of travel in the former 
times. We are reminded that " the author of Waverley" 
when writing of only " sixty years since," describes the 
" fly-coach " as aiming at something wonderful when 
promising to convey its passengers from Edinburgh to 
London, " God willing, in three weeks." 

Wycliffe has left no record of his journey, so that 
we can only imagine him upon his pack-horse, tra- 
versing the padded roads of several counties for weary 
days, till at length he reached the banks of the Isis, 
and breathed the academic atmosphere of Oxford. 

He entered as a student at Queen's College, but 
soon removed to the more celebrated Merton, where he 
was first Probationer, and afterwards Fellow. This 
college, we are told, " had produced some of the most 
scientific scholars of the age ; had supplied the English 
Church with three Metropolitans ; its Divinity chair 
had been recently filled by the celebrated Bradvvardine ; 
and within its walls Ockham and Duns Scotus had 
disclosed that genius, the fame of which was at this 
time commensurate with Christendom, and was believed 
to be immortal." 


Our student gave himself up to learning with a zeal 
and success almost without a parallel ; and so great 
was his proficiency that even the most relentless of his 
adversaries declared his powers to have been almost 
more than human, and that he was deemed little less 
than a god. It was this wonderful erudition, espe- 
cially in the Bible, which gained for him the title of 
the Gospel Doctor. 

About this time his mind became deeply impressed 
by one of the most fearful events which can befall a 
nation. " It was in the year 1349," says the historian, 
" that a pestilence, the most destructive in the annals 
of the world, appeared in Tartary. Having ravaged 
various kingdoms of Asia, it hovered about the delta 
and shores of the Nile ; was wafted thence to the 
islands of Greece ; passing along the shores of the 
Mediterranean, it filled the several states of Italy with 
impartial ruin ; and crossing the Alps, penetrated into 
nearly every recess of the European population. Two 
years had been occupied in its desolating progress, 
when the Continent was shaken from its centre to its 
borders by a succession of earthquakes. From June to 
December in the same year, England was deluged with 
incessant rains. In the following August the plague 
appeared at Dorchester; it soon reached the metro- 
polis, and there, in the space of a few months, added 
many thousands to its victims." This alarming visita- 
tion produced a vast impression upon Wycliffe for the 
whole of his after life. He regarded it as the punish- 
ment of Heaven because of the Church's and the 
nation's sin. It led to his writing the first of his pub- 
lished works, a tract entitled The Last Age of the Church. 


In all probability it was the preparation of this 
tract, concerning the scandalous lives of the clergy, 
which prepared the way for his sharp and long-con- 
tinued struggle with the Mendicant Friars. 

These were chiefly divided into four Orders : the 
Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Carmelites, and the 
Hermits of St. Augustine. The two former, however, 
became the most notorious. Their rise dates from the 
beginning of the thirteenth century, and it must be 
confessed that their early history gave promise of 
great good to the Church. 

In the year 1221 these reformers first made their 
appearance in England. For a while they seemed to 
do good service ; but by and by they abandoned their 
simplicity, and the worst vices of human nature vege- 
tated in them to luxuriance. Under pretence of 
following the example of the Great Master, who had 
not where to lay his head, " these Friars affected to be 
poor, and with a wallet on their back, begged with a 
piteous air from both high and low. But at the same 
time, they had large houses of their own, in which 
there was much waste, wore at home costly clothes, 
gave great feasts, and had many jewels and treasures." 
These Friars at length became the very pests of society, 
worming their way into the secrets of the domestic 
circle, and laying a deathly hand on social life. They 
wandered through the country selling pardons for 
money, tempting to the fulfilment of foulest atrocities, 
and then absolving the culprits on the payment of 
heavy fines. 

The reeking moral filth of these Orders could be 
endured no longer, and a loud demand was made for 


their extirpation. The University of Paris led the 
way. Then Oxford raised an indignant cry. In 1360 
Wycliffe took up this controversy. One thunderbolt 
after another he forged in his study, and hurled with 
tremendous power against the Mendicants, who some- 
times reeled under their force, and sometimes thundered 
in return. 

Let me state a fact in a parenthesis. Some half 
century before this publication, the Franciscans at- 
tempted to bribe the Pontiff ; offering to his Holiness no 
less a sum than 40,000 ducats in gold to sanction the 
violation of their rule with respect to property. The 
Pope sent for the money from the banker to whom 
it had been entrusted ; and seizing it as the fruit 
of transgression, respectfully informed the astonished 
applicants that the rule of St. Francis was not to be 

Wycliffe further charges them with pillaging and 
deceiving the people ; with contempt of the country's 
government, and even secret treason against the state ; 
with blasphemy, in the act of pardon which they 
ascribed to the Pope ; and in robing themselves with 
a power which belongs to none but God. These were 
the accusations which he fearlessly made, and as fear- 
lessly sustained. 

The Mendicants roared with rage, and Oxford be- 
came little better than a bear-garden. They appealed 
to the Pope ; and indeed the controversy waxed so hot 
that Parliament was requested to interfere. A very 
milk-and-water reply came from Westminster. But 
the University acted with more decision, and openly 
espoused the cause of the Keformer. The Society of 


Balliol College at once testified their regard by present- 
ing him with the church of Fillingham, a living of 
considerable value in the diocese of Lincoln, which he 
afterwards exchanged in 1368 for Lutgershall, in the 
archdeaconry of Bucks, a living of less value, but of 
more convenient situation, as being nearer to Oxford. 
In the same year (1361) he was promoted to the 
wardenship of Balliol ; which dignity he resigned some 
four years afterwards for the headship of Canterbury 
Hall, a society founded about that time by Simon 
Islip, then Archbishop of Canterbury. 

This last preferment led to endless difficulty. His 
appointment was contested. He invoked the Pope's 
protection, who decided against him. A final appeal 
was made to the Crown ; and by a substantial bribe of 
from £2000 to £3000, which the Prior and Convent 
of Christ's Church, Canterbury, actually paid the king, 
the papal sentence was confirmed, and poor Wycliffe 
was deprived of his well-earned preferment. 

He was now summoned to a larger sphere of con- 
troversy. Pope Urban v., in 1365, revived his claim 
to an annual tribute of a thousand marks from Eng- 
land. He sent to the king his arrogant letter of 
demand, and threatened, on refusal, to cite him before 
the papal court. The foundation of this claim was 
the alleged surrender of the English crown by John to 
Innocent in. The king died two years after this 
miserable transaction; but the oath of fealty to the 
Pope was renewed by his son. Several successive 
princes, however, had treated the demand as a dead 
letter ; and for thirty-three years no tribute had been 
paid. This tilt of Ins Holiness was most inopportune 



and disastrous. The reign of Edward had been both 
long and brilliant. The victories of Crecy and Poic- 
tiers were just secured. The peace of Bretigny had 
made the king more popular than ever ; and now, that 
a foreign potentate should not only enforce an unjust, 
if not an obsolete, claim, but threaten the monarch with 
personal humiliation, was what the country would not 
endure. Edward laid all the facts at once before 
Parliament, and asked for advice-. With little delay 
the advice was tendered in these terms : " Forasmuch 
as neither King John, nor any other king, could bring 
this realm and kingdom in such thraldom and subjec- 
tion, but by common consent of Parliament, the which 
was not done ; that which he did was against his oath 
at his coronation. If the Pope should attempt any- 
thing against the King by process or other matters of 
deed, the King, with all his subjects, should, with all 
their force and power, resist the same." 

In the following year, some anonymous writer took 
up the papal cause, and published a vindication of the 
claim, which concluded with a challenge to John 
Wycliffe by name to confute bis arguments and uphold 
the decision of Parliament. 

Nothing loth, the Keformer seized his pen and wrote 
a withering reply. He styles himself the King's peculiar 
clerh, so we judge that he had been appointed chaplain 
to his Majesty. He reviews the whole question with 
vigour, putting his own views into the mouths of 
imaginary speakers. One of them is made to say : 
" Christ is the supreme Lord, while the Pope is a man, 
and liable to mortal sin ; and who, while in mortal sin, 
is unfitted for dominion." This settled the contro- 


versy ; and both Peter's pence and tribute were aban- 
doned for ever. 

About this time Wycliffe rendered another service 
to the country. Nearly all the great offices of state 
had for a long period been held by Ecclesiastics. But 
the general ignorance of the population, which had 
made this a necessity in the first instance, was now 
passing away; and in 1371 Parliament petitioned the 
king for their exclusion from such secular responsi- 
bilities. "Wycliffe, to whom the question was referred, 
fought on the popular side, and maintained that neither 
prelates nor doctors nor deacons should hold secular 
offices, more especially while secular men were able to 
do the work. Some of us would rejoice to see this 
Daniel come again to judgment, and relieve the minis- 
try of a vast amount of secular and financial labour 
which the lay members of the Church have not the 
time or the inclination to fulfil. The effect of Wy- 
cliffe's pleading was all that could be desired. William 
of Wykeham resigned the Great Seal, and the Bishop 
of Exeter retired from the Treasury. Our Beformer 
became still more publicly known, and from this time 
assumed a foremost place in the University. 

In 1372, when he was forty-eight years of age, he 
was admitted to the degree of Doctor in Divinity, and 
took his seat in the Theological Professor's chair. 
Wycliffe's authority as a teacher is said to have been 
oracular. The ability of the man and the novelty of 
the utterances combined to produce this effect. We 
have not many of his prelections handed down to us ; 
but you may easily suppose that, though with regard 
to some doctrines he afterwards obtained clearer light, 


he gave to those divinity students the germs at least 
of the grand truths which made up the system of the 
Eeformed religion. So that this is, perhaps, the place 
to state consecutively his belief as opposed to the 
Church of Eome. 

He begins, then, where Protestants always begin, viz. 
with the divine inspiration and authority of the Holy 
Scriptures, rejecting the apocryphal books, and refusing 
to listen to either human or traditional teaching, unless 
supported by the word of God. He denounces the 
claim of the Pope to interfere in temporal matters, and 
maintains that his Holiness might err in doctrine as 
well as life. He denies the headship of Eome as to 
the universal Church, and her authority over other 
Christian churches ; and while he urges all fitting 
respect to consistent Ministers of the Word, he does not 
hesitate to brand as antichrist the whole papal hier- 
archy. He teaches the supremacy of the State in 
secular matters over all the population, whether lay or 
cleric. He rejects with abhorrence the dogma of tran- 
substantiation ; and while in his earlier years he spake 
of the Sacraments as seven, in his later writings he 
denies the authority of the five, and strenuously pleads 
for the Protestant two. He admits the doctrine of an 
intermediate state, but condemns as a " pious false- 
hood" the purgatory of the Eomish Church. Saints 
are to be honoured in the way of imitating their 
example, but not worshipped. He rejects the efficacy 
of their mediation, but accepts the one sacrifice and 
mediatorship of Christ. He condemns the worship of 
images, and declares that the doctrine of indulgences is 
an encouragement to sin. Forgiveness is the act of 


God alone. Faith in the Saviour is the condition of 
pardon. Men are only justified through the righteous- 
ness of Christ. With regard to the doctrines of grace, 
he seems to have inclined more to what is known as 
the Calvinian than the Arminian view, for which some 
will honour and others blame him. He condemns 
the celibacy of the clergy, and lashes with a fearful 
severity the popular vices of that day. 

Conceive, then, the great "gospel doctor" stating 
and arguing truths like these among the thousands of 
Oxford students who crowded around his chair. The 
tidings spread from the University to the Metropo- 
litan city, and on and on they bounded over the hills 
and through the valleys of the country. The attention 
of all classes was secured. Men of independent 
thought felt the pulses of their nature stirred; and 
one at least of the most noble of the land was attracted 
to the bold Eeformer — Shakespeare's " old John of 
Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster." The oracle which 
we all revere has said that " not many wise men after 
the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called." 
Christianity has had to make her way rather through 
the storm than in the sunshine of worldly favour ; and 
indeed history reads us this melancholy lesson, that 
when the potentates of the earth have regarded their 
connection with religion as a patronage and a condescen- 
sion, their countenance has been its blight, and their 
touch its ruin. Christianity will make kings kinglier 
by far if they will accept it on the same terms as the 
lowliest subject ; but she is too brilliant herself to shine 
through the glare of a worldly coronet, and too royal 
to submit to an earthly rule. 


At the same time, it behoves us to rejoice when 
rank, and wealth, and power lay their tribute humbly 
at the Kedeemer's feet. What Englishman does not 
daily give thanks to God for the example of Christian 
humility and purity and devotion set by the highest 
person in the realm ? Who can estimate the worth 
to this country of the domestic sanctities and religious 
observances of the palace and the court ? Who could 
not weep for joy as he reads of Her Majesty's visits 
to the cottage, her words of tender soothing to the 
widow, her reading the precious Book at the bedside 
of the dying, her unflagging interest in the general 
circulation of the Scriptures, and her constant anxiety 
for the moral welfare of the nation ? And can we 
ever forget the Christian character, the almost spotless 
life, the constant and unwearied efforts for his adopted 
country's weal, of that illustrious Prince, who, while he 
was with us, was too little known and appreciated ; 
whose death only woke us up to his worth ; and who, 
in all coming time, as long as one stone of the British 
Constitution remains upon another, and the grand old 
English language lives, will be known as "Albert the 

Let us bear in mind, then, that while Christianity 
is not dependent on royal favour, she delights to 
comfort and gladden the princely heart, and to 
beautify the palace. 

We can readily conjecture that Wycliffe held such 
views as these. He gratefully accepted the friendship 
and protection of the Duke of Lancaster; but when 
they were withdrawn, still confident in God, he held 
on his way. 


It is not my purpose to give even in outline the 
history of this celebrated Duke. I should be sorry to 
endorse all that his friends have written, in reference 
either to his public or private life ; but that he ought 
to live in the memory and esteem of posterity there 
can be no doubt. Though nearly allied to the throne, 
as the son of the reigning monarch, he felt himself 
one with the people. He lived, and fought, and 
pleaded for their liberties, through good and evil 
report. He had the sagacity to see that popery is 
inimical to the civil and religious interests of society ; 
and while he avoided many of the errors into which 
his descendant Henry vm. was betrayed, and with a 
far better character, he exhibited as invincible a 
resolve to free himself and the nation from the papal 
yoke. There is a manliness and, at the same time, 
a humanity about John of Gaunt which you delight 
to see. 

It is, however, his connection with Wycliffe and 
the religious events of the times with which we have 
to do. We do not know when their friendly inter- 
course began ; but the startling lectures of the Oxford 
professor had, doubtless, reached the prince's ears; 
and then, Wycliffe's defence of the Crown against the 
Pope brought the two together. They were closely 
associated in the onslaught against ecclesiastics holding 
civil offices, and the nomination of Wycliffe as Embassy 
to the papal court was probably with Lancaster. 

The occasion of that appointment was this. The 
country had long groaned under the exactions of 
Rome. By what was called the Pope's provision, he 
Claimed the right to declare any of the vacant English 



benefices to be at his own disposal. These were filled 
by his nominees, who were chiefly Italians and French. 
In many instances they were boys, whose education 
had scarcely begun ; in others they were utterly 
illiterate and wicked. These persons never set foot 
in the country ; but employed curates who were 
wretchedly paid, and drained off the wealth of the 
nation to other and hostile lands. In 1350 a check 
was put upon this rascality by two parliamentary 
decrees : but in a little while the evil broke out again 
with even greater violence. In 1373 the aged King 
listened to the demands of the people, and sent a 
deputation to the Pope ; but his Holiness did not 
return a satisfactory reply. Parliament again took up 
the scandal, and sternly demanded redress. A second 
Embassy was appointed, consisting of seven men, the 
second of whom was John Wycliffe. The papal Court 
was at Avignon, but the city of Bruges was selected 
for the negotiations. These negotiations were tedious, 
and comparatively fruitless. 

Though this effort of diplomacy did not bring much 
credit to Wycliffe, it was not without profit; for 
immediately on his return he was presented by the 
Crown to the prebend of Aust, in the Collegiate Church 
at Westbury, in the diocese of Worcester ; and soon 
after to the rectory of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire. 

For a quarter of a century he had lived in Oxford 
as a Student, a Teacher, and a Professor. By his zeal 
and courage he had become one of the foremost men 
in the land. He now gave up the pursuits of the 
academic, and entered upon those of a parish priest. 

His eight years' residence at Lutterworth may be 


said to have inaugurated a new era in the history of 

In Wycliffe's times there were chiefly two modes 
of preaching. One was called declaring ; we should 
rather designate it the essay style. The text was a 
motto. The discourse founded upon it was a sort of 
oration or declamation. The other mode was what we 
call the expository style. With great judgment, as I 
take it, Wycliffe adopted the latter ; and with running 
comment he expounded and applied scriptural truth. 
Among the mss. of the Reformer in the British 
Museum there are 300 of these homilies. 

The simple people of Lutterworth gazed at first 
with astonishment upon the preacher. A wondrous 
influence was felt through the neighbourhood. A 
system of itinerant ministration was organized under 
Wycliffe's guidance. Many evangelists went forth 
preaching the word; and the light of the glorious 
Gospel radiated from Lutterworth into the surrounding 

This long course of heresy, however, was now to be 
checked. Complaints had been sent to Rome, and 
nineteen articles drawn from "Wycliffe's writings were 
forwarded for papal condemnation. At length the ful- 
minations came. The Pope pronounced these opinions 
damnable ; and sent by the same messengers four Bulls 
to England citing the heretic to trial. These were 
addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop 
<'f London, the King, and the University of Oxford. 
They led to the celebrated Convocation of St. Paul's. 

The citation to Wycliffe was issued by Convocation 
on February 3d, 1377 ; and Thursday, the 1 9th of that 


month, was fixed for his appearance. He immediately 
repaired to the Duke of Lancaster for advice. His 
Grace urged him to a firm bearing; assuring him that 
his abilities were far ahead of his judges, and pro- 
mising that the Earl Marshal and himself should 
stand by his side. 

The morning of the trial gathered a large concourse 
in the neighbourhood of St. Paul's. It seems that at 
that moment the Eoyal Duke was not popular in 
London. Eeports were in circulation that he had a 
design upon the people's liberties ; and so thoroughly 
was it believed, that his life was in danger. He was 
not the man, howeveT, to be frightened ; and in com- 
pany with Lord Percy, the Marshal, and the poor 
persecuted Eeformer, he made his way through the 
crowds to that part -of the building called " Our Lady's 
•Chapel," where sat, in great pomp, the Archbishop of 
Canterbury and the Bishop ef London, attended by 
several of the nobility, waiting for the heretic. When 
they beheld his powerful escort, they were chagrined 
beyond measure ; and a scene -of tumult ensued which 
defies description. Courtney, the Bishop, was of noble 
birth, and was regarded as the most imperious church- 
man of the age. He resented the interference of 
Lancaster and Percy, and said petulantly to the Earl : 
" Lord Percy, if I had known beforehand what masteries 
you would have kept in the Church, I would have 
stopped you out from coming hither." 

Whereupon the " fiery Duke " retorted, " He shall 
keep such masteries here, though you say Nay." 

During this short passage of arms, Wycliffe meekly 
stood to answer the charges. Percy requested him to 


sit down, saying, " You have many things to answer 
to, and you need to repose yourself on a soft seat." 

The Bishop resented this insulting sarcasm, and said 
peremptorily, " It is unreasonable that one cited before 
his Ordinary should sit down during his answer." 

But Lancaster rejoined, " The Lord Percy's motion 
for Wycliffe is but reasonable. And as for you, my 
Lord Bishop, who are grown so proud and arrogant, I 
will bring down the pride not of you alone, but of all 
the Prelacy of England." 

" Do your worst, sir," said Courtney with a sneer. 

Lancaster cried in irritation, " Thou bearest thyself 
so brag upon thy parents, who shall not be able to help 
thee. They shall have enough to do to help themselves." 

The Bishop, evidently calling to mind the apostolic 
precept that one in his office must not be a " brawler," 
cooled down suddenly, and said, " My confidence is not 
in my parents, nor in any man else, but only God, in 
whom I trust." 

The Duke could not control his temper like the 
ecclesiastic, but said to the person close by, " Bather 
than I will take these words at his hands, I will pluck 
the Bishop by the hair out of the church." 

Although this was spoken softly, it was soon made 
public. Wycliffe was forgotten, and the people took 
up the quarrel between the Bishop and John of Gaunt. 
They declared that they would not have their Bishop 
threatened. The Convocation was broken up, and 
within a few hours one-half of London was in the 
hands of the mob. The mansions both of the Duke 
and the Earl were well-nigh gutted ; and a clergyman, 
who was taken for Lord Percy, was put to death. 


Wycliffe retired to Lutterworth, where, for a little 
while, he was allowed to rest. But it was only for a 
little. On the 21st June, Edward ill. expired. His 
successor, the son of the Black Prince, assembled the 
new Parliament on 13th October. The question of so 
many aliens holding benefices in England, and drawing 
away its resources, was vigorously discussed. The 
King submitted the whole question to Wycliffe's judg- 
ment. I need not say that his reply was adverse to 
the papacy. Both Pope and Prelates were alarmed 
that such confidence was placed in the heretic, and 
another attempt was made to bring him to trial. 

The Envoy who carried the despatch to Oxford was 
received with polite indifference. The Archbishop, 
however, sent to the Chancellor an imperious demand 
that he should personally serve a summons upon 
*Wycliffe to appear at Lambeth. This letter was dated 
December 18 th, and in the following April the Lutter- 
worth Rector stood before the Papal commissioners in 
the Archbishop's Chapel. But a remarkable change in 
public opinion had taken place during the last few 
months. John of Gaunt had lost his influence ; but the 
Reformer waxed stronger and stronger. The populace 
rushed to Lambeth on the day of trial, crowded the 
Chapel, declared their hearty attachment to the accused, 
and overawed the Commissioners. In the midst of the 
tumult Sir Lewis Clifford entered the Court, with a 
positive message from the Queen Mother, forbidding 
them to proceed to Wycliffe's condemnation. The 
Judges were confounded and silenced, and the glorious 
Pieformer went on his way. 

Just about the time of the Lambeth trial, Gregory xi. 


died ; the Commission of Delegates who sat there as 
Judges was broken up, and a respite from persecution 
was given to the Eeformer. For the next year or 
two his time was spent between his pastoral duties, 
voluminous writings, and visits to the Oxford Univer- 
sity. It was probably during one of these visits that 
the event happened which has furnished the solitary 
anecdote in his history. His life was crowded with 
incident; but those questionable persons who are known 
as anecdote-makers for papers and periodicals never 
profited much by Wycliffe ; for the only fact that 
could be called " anecdotical " refers to his illness at 
Oxford. From his portraits which have been handed 
down to us you do not get the notion of physical 
strength. There is a piercing eye, and a clear bright 
countenance ; but you would judge him to be of spare 
and weakly habit. Such scenes of toil and trial as 
thuse through which he had passed began to produce 
their effect. In the beginning of 1379 he was seized 
with a malady which threatened speedy death. The 
news spread through Oxford, and his enemies sought 
to profit by it. They supposed that, though he had 
been designated by them " a limb of the devil," now, 
with death before him, he would be penitent and 
recant. The Mendicants, therefore, selected one from 
each of their orders to go and receive his confession. 
That the effect might be complete, four civic authorities 
— called senators or aldermen — arranged to accompany 
these four Ecclesiastical Regents. In due and solemn 
form they entered the sick man's apartment. Wonder- 
ing for a moment as to the cause of so unexpected an 
intrusion, Wycliffe looked to know their errand. Ona 


of them, as spokesman, began very blandly by express- 
ing their sorrow at his circumstances, and their hopes 
of a speedy recovery. Having gained a little time and 
confidence by this polite falsehood, the speaker went 
on to say that he, the heretic, could not be ignorant of 
the grievous wrong which had been done to the Mendi- 
cants by his sermons and writings ; and expressed a 
wish that he should penitently confess his sins against 
the brotherhood, and revoke what he had said and 
written. "Wycliffe listened, as he lay stretched upon 
his bed, to this unctuous appeal. The deputation now 
gazed in silence for the reply. He beckoned his 
servants to come near, and told them to raise him up, 
and so arrange his pillows that he might sit for a 
moment ; and then, fixing his piercing eye upon the 
foremost auditor, and contracting his brow so as to 
express the utmost rebuke and scorn, he exclaimed, 
with an almost superhuman energy : " I shall not die, 
out live, ; and shall again declare the evil deeds of the 
friars." If a thunderbolt from heaven had fallen into 
the room, it could not have produced a more startling 
effect. The doctors and their myrmidons slunk off in 
dismay, and lived to prove the truth of the Eeformer's 
utterance. I have often wondered that historical 
painters have not seized upon this incident. It might 
surely be made one of the richest treasures in the 
world of art. 

After Wycliffe's recovery, he proceeded with his 
literary work. Several tracts were immediately pub- 
lished on the Great Controversy. One was entitled, 
The Schism of the Popes. But his greatest labour for 
the world now occupied his thought and effort — I 


mean, the translation of the Bible into the English lan- 
guage. It has been pronounced as Wycliffe's undying 
fame, " that his is the first instance in modern Europe 
of the entire Bible translated for the common people. . 
The whole Bible, for the whole world, was his glorious 
thought." All his predecessors had contented them- 
selves with portions of the sacred record. Latin versions 
were doubtless first used in England. Vernacular 
translations were not attempted before the seventh 
century. About the year 700, Aldhelm, the Bishop of 
Sherborne, produced a version of the Psalms. Guthlac, 
the celebrated Anchorite, and others, undertook a similar 
service ; and then the " venerable Bede " sent forth a 
translation of the New Testament. 

But of all the early Bibliographers whose names 
we venerate, none may compare with Wycliffe. His 
version of the whole Bible was completed about 
1380. It was a marvellous effort, considering all the 
circumstances; and there can be no doubt that this 
work did more, under God, to prepare the way for the 
Reformation than any other event in our history. 

The circulation of this English version so enraged 
the hierarchy, that the Prelates brought a bill into the 
House of Lords to suppress it; but the Duke of 
Lancaster stoutly objected, and exclaimed, "We will 
not be the dregs of all, seeing that other nations have 
the law of God, which is the law of our faith, written 
in their own language." 

Most gloriously have the aspirations of John of 
r.uunt been realized ! Many copies of Wycliffe's Bible 
were made and circulated. And then the discovery 
of printing was the gift of Heaven. Just about the 


middle of the fifteenth century, the first printed copy 
of the Scriptures was produced on the Continent. 
Within twenty years, 13,000 volumes were published 
in twenty-eight editions. In the earlier part of the 
sixteenth century, the English translation was printed, 
during the preparation of which Tyndale uttered the 
memorable saying: "I defy the Pope and all his laws; 
and if God spare my life, ere many years I will cause 
a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the 
Scriptures than you do." 

Our Authorized Version dates from the reign of 
James I. The British and Foreign Bible Society was 
established in 1804. The number of copies which 
have been circulated is fabulous. Similar societies 
have done a noble work, but the grand old English 
version is the only one in existence on which the sun 
nfever sets. "We know full well," says the Annalist, 
" that it is actually in use on the banks of the Ottawa 
and St. Lawrence, as well as at Sydney, Port Philip, 
and Hobart Town ; but before the sun's evening rays 
have left the spires of Quebec or Montreal, his morning 
beams have already shone for hours upon the shores 
of Australia and New Zealand. And if it be read 
by so many of our language in Canada, while the sun 
is sinking on Lake Ontario; in the Eastern world, 
where he has risen in his glory on the banks of the 
Ganges, to the self-same sacred volume many, who are 
no less our countrymen, have already turned. Yet 
are all these but as branches from one parent stock, 
under whose shade the English version, corrected and 
re-corrected, has been read by myriads for three 
hundred years." 


This great labour of Wycliffe's life was scarcely 
completed before he found himself in a deadlier con- 
troversy than he had known before — the one on the 
subtle absurdity of transubstantiation. 

This same year, 1381, was distinguished by a 
fearful disturbance in London and the neighbourhood, 
known as Wat Tyler's rebellion; and Wycliffe's foes 
dared to associate his name with it. But we may 
dismiss this imputation as the purest calumny, and 
Wycliffe's memory may rest content with Shakespeare's 
utterance : 

" No might nor greatness in Mortality 
Can censure 'scape ; back-wounding Calumny 
The whitest virtue strikes ; what king so strong 
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue ? " 

It is said that the closing months of his life " were 
passed in the strong expectation that the cell of the 
convict, if not the horrors of the stake, would be 
added to the contumely and poverty which he had 
already incurred." Providence, however, would not 
permit a violent death to conclude such a life. For 
some time he had been threatened with paralysis, and 
was compelled to employ a curate in the discharge 
of parochial duty. But to the last he loved the 
sanctuary ; and it was while he stood at the sacra- 
mental table, that the heavenly messenger arrived. 
This was on the 29th December 1384. For two days 
he was deprived of speech, and was utterly helpless. 
The last day of the year saw the angels come to convey 
his spirit to the heavenly paradise. This was in the 
sixty-first year of his age. 

I cannot stay to portray the spread of Wycliffe's 



doctrines after his decease, nor to recite the splendid 
testimony which Oxford bore to the purity and useful- 
ness of his character. There is no time to tell of the 
base and cowardly attacks which the Eomanists have 
made upon his memory ; but never was there a higher 
vindication of his goodness than the epitaph which 
some nameless and malignant monk has written. 
Here is John Wycliffe as seen through a popish glass: 
" The devil's instrument, Church's enemy, people's 
confusion, heretics' idol, hypocrites' mirror, schism's 
broacher, hatred's sower, lies' forger, flatteries' sink ; 
who at his death despaired like Cain, and, stricken by 
the horrible judgments of God, breathed forth his 
wicked soul to the dark mansion of the black devil." 

I must forego my intention of giving an outline ol 
Chaucer's life, contemporaneous with that of Wycliffe, 
and of showing the connection between poetry and 
the Eeformation. 

I may not linger on the comparison between 
Wycliffe and Luther, nor on a delineation of the 
character of that beautiful Bohemian princess, whose 
steps were directed to this country just in the midst 
of Wycliffe's course, and who rendered invaluable 
service to the cause of truth when Queen of England. 

But let me, in conclusion, ask for some good 
practical result from our historical review. The young 
men of this age may learn a lesson. Wycliffe did not 
live to himself, but for all time ; and his name and 
deeds will live to the latest generations. We want 
men of his mental calibre and inflexible determina- 
tion. It is lamentable to see human beings passing 


through the world without plan or purpose- — like the 
chip of wood flung, as worthless, from the block into 
the running stream, altogether at the mercy of the 
current, driven back again and again by the eddy 
from the shore ; seeming not to know what to do 
or where to go, the sport of the wind and tide, and 
apparently having no object but to typify the persons 
whom we now condemn. Oh ! for some men of purpose, 
who will neither dream nor fritter their life away, but 
so live as to impress their Christian character upon 
coming populations — men who will make an age of 
their own, and not be content to live upon their 
patrimony; and who, above all, will be willing to 
take as a perfect example of decision Him who said, 
" I must work the works of him that sent me, while it 
is day : the night cometh, when no man can work ! '' 
We need men who are prepared to chastise with a 
more vigorous hand the vices of the times ; who will 
thoroughly examine, and then resolutely maintain, 
gospel truth ; who will have independence of soul 
enough not to yield to puerile objections to Chris- 
tianity, whether raised by the mitred delinquent, or 
the rationalistic professor, or the avowed sceptic. 
There are days of danger before us. We have need 
to inquire who are the friends, and who the enemies 
of our Master. Let us give the hearty hand of fellow- 
ship to the one, and tight with the other to the 

" Oh, my brothers ! Oh, my sisters ! 
Would to God thut ye were near, 
Gazing with mc down the vistas 
Of a sorrow strange and drear ; 
Would to God that ye were listening to a voice I seem to hear. 


" With the storm above us driving, 
"With the false earth mined below, 
"Who shall marvel if, thus striving, 
"We have counted friend for foe ; 
Unto one another giving in the darkness blow for blow. 

' ' Let us draw their mantles o'er us, 
Which have fallen in our way ; 
Let us do the work before us 
Cheerly, bravely, while we may, 
Ere the long night-silence cometh, and no longer shines the day. " 

Let us form right views of our Country's work and 
glory. It is now too late to ask what it is which has 
made us great. You saw the condition of the land, 
morally, commercially, and politically, when Wycliffe 
entered upon his career. You may easily trace the 
progress of Protestant truth and national advancement 
running in parallel lines. Would that the advocates 
% of a miserable expediency might study the principles 
and practices of Romish superstition ! "We will raise 
our voice for equal laws and protection to all ; but it is 
folly to suppose that this would satisfy the Eomanists. 
The re-conquest of England to the Papacy is their 
war-cry ; but we must raise the answering shout as of 
thunder, No peace with Borne. 

" Up, England, and avert it ! boldly break 
The spells of sorceress Eome, and cast away 
The cords of bad expedience ; is it wise, 
Or right, or safe, for some chance gains to-day, 
To dare sure vengeance on to-morrow's skies ? 
Be wiser, thou dear land, my native home, 
Do always good, do good that good may come ; 
The path of duty lies before thee plain, 
Turn from the harlot speech of papal Eome, 
For none who go that way return again." 

Our Country owes its high and sublime position to 


its maintenance of the Eefonned Religion. It is far 
from being what it ought to be ; but it is far better 
than it would have been if the leprous hand of Eome 
had not been plucked away. We must not forget our 
responsibilities, nor the destinies which are before us, 
if we are faithful to ourselves and God. The world 
shall bless our name. The slave shall still run hither 
for freedom, and the oppressed for refuge ; and as in 
so many instances, both right and wrong, England's 
power has been felt, "mankind shall feel her mercy 

We may well remember that the future of the 
Country depends upon the maintenance of that which 
has made it great. Throw into the shade our 
Protestant institutions; break down all the barriers 
which our fathers reared ; admit the Jesuit to offices 
of high and solemn trust; fling open, without restraint, 
your gaols and workhouses to his visits, who would 
glory beyond everything in making proselytes to 
Rome; let the Government ensconce Romanists in the 
" Record " and other offices, where the old Protestant 
State papers lie ; let it be generally understood that 
Protestantism and Popery are much on a level, and 
that any difference between them is not worth a 
struggle ; — and then the downfall of Old England has 
begun. But, on the other hand, let us preserve our 
Constitution in its integrity; let us, while we bear our- 
selves towards those who differ from us courteously and 
respectfully, not hesitate to affirm that our principles 
are right, and that theirs are wrong; let us watch with 
a constant jealousy the encroachments of our insidious 
foe ; above all, let us maintain the gospel in its purity 


and power : and the land is safe. 'Tis true the vessel 
of the State is often found in the narrow seas, and 
there are many breakers. But if the Pilot of the 
Galilean lake will condescend to guide her, she will 
brave and outlive the storm. 

" Christ be near thee ; Christ upbear thee 

Over waters wide and drear, 
Through all dangers, among strangers, 

With no friend or brother near. 
Then the winds and waves may wrestle, 

Skies may threaten, deeps may rave, 
Safely rides the labouring vessel, 

When the Saviour walks the wave. 

"Though thine earnest need be sternest, 

And in darkness works the storm, 
Drifting lonely where One only 

Can outstretch the saving arm : 
On His breast serenely nestle, 

Winds nor waves can overwhelm ; 
Straight for haven goes the vessel, 

When the Saviour's at the helm. 

' ' Clouds may lighten, lips may whiten, 

Praying looks be dark with dread ; 
Sails may shiver, true hearts quiver 

At death going overhead. 
Yet, though winds and waters wrestle, 

Masts may spring, and bulwarks dip, 
Safely rides the labouring vessel, 

When the Saviour's in the ship." 



THE history of England is the wonder of the world. 
Ranked only as a third or fourth rate power till 
the Reformation, it then began, with its embrace of 
pure Christianity, to develop its internal resources, and 
to extend its conquests. Maintaining a bold stand for 
Truth, and consecrating life and wealth to its spread, 
this country has pursued an unchecked career of glory ; 
and though a tiny island of the sea, it is now in the 
van of nations as to commerce, legislation, civilisation, 
and religion. Its dependencies are in every quarter of 
the globe ; its alliances are universally appreciated ; 
its name is the shield of the traveller, the safety of 
the exile, and the hope of the slave ; its people are 
generous and brave ; its peers the noblest of nobility ; 
and its monarch's character is without a stain. It has 
been stated that our gracious Queen now reigns over 
one whole continent, a hundred peninsulas, five hun- 
dred promontories, a thousand lakes, two thousand 
rivers, and ten thousand islands. " She waves her 
hand, and a thousand ships of war, with a hundred 
thousand sailors, are ready to perform her bidding on 
the ocean. She gives the command, and five hundred 



thousand warriors rush into the battle-field to conquer 
or die. The Assyrian empire was never so wealthy ; 
the Eoman empire was never so populous ; the Persian 
empire was never so extensive ; the Carthaginian em- 
pire was never so much dreaded ; the Spanish empire 
was never so widely diffused. "We have overrun 
a greater extent of territory than Attila ever ruled. 
We have subdued more kingdoms than Alexander of 
Macedon. We have dethroned more monarchs, if it be 
anything to our credit, than Napoleon in the plenitude 
of his power ; and we have gained to ourselves a larger 
extent of territory than Tamerlane the Tartar ever 
spurred his horse's hoof across." But our country 
has attained a moral greatness, sublimer far than its 
geographical extent, or than its political renown ; and 
the secret of that greatness is to be found in its un- 
swerving maintenance of the Protestant religion. 

Some take a superficial view of England's glory. 
They look at its palaces and public charities, its 
churches and lazarettos, its arsenals and dockyards, its 
army and navy, its equipage and pageantry, its com- 
merce and agriculture — and they are in ecstasies of 
joy. I join them in admiration of every feature of 
national dignity and . power ; but I like to think of 
days gone by, when the foundations of it all were laid. 
I like to think of our old England's heroes, who, for 
the sake of fatherland, endured hardness as Christian 
soldiers, and fell into a martyr's grave. We are reap- 
ing the fruit of that seed which was sown in the glo- 
rious Eevolution of 1688. We inherit the blessings 
which our Puritan ancestors of the sixteenth century 
have secured to us. We are the sons of the Eeforma- 


tion, and our fair inheritance is seen in our civil and 
religious liberties. All honour to the statesman and 
the hero — the great and good of our own times ; but 
I rejoice to throw back my thoughts to the days 
and deeds of men departed. The subject of our 
lecture is well said to be one of those " pivot-points " 
on which the destiny of this Christian country has 

" Attend, all ye who list to hear our nohle England's praise ; 
I tell of the thrice famous deeds she wrought in ancient days, 
When that great fleet invincible against her bore in vain 
The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts of Spain." 

My purpose is, first, to review the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth so far as that you may see the causes and 
occasions of this celebrated invasion; and, secondly, 
to fix attention upon the Armada itself. I hold it to 
have been a great religious enterprise, or, rather, an 
irreligious enterprise under the pretended sanctions of 
religion. Events, therefore, merely political or social 
will be passed by ; but we may stay for a moment to 
say that curiosity-seekers may reap a rich harvest. It 
was in this reign, for instance, that tobacco was intro- 
duced here ; whether the importer deserved a pension 
or a halter is matter of controversy. About this time 
coaches began to be built in England ; pocket-watches 
were brought into common use ; the Eoyal Exchange 
of London was completed ; the coinage was reformed ; 
the lottery system was started for the purpose of sup- 
plying the national exchequer ; and — the most called 
for of all — several Eoyal proclamations were issued to 
regulate the size of ladies' dresses, and the shape of 
gentlemen's coats and neckties. 


Elizabeth ascended the throne of England at a crisis 
in its history. Under the government of Henry vin. 
our ancestors threw off the galling yoke of Eome. 
This was not from their love to him ; but his quarrel 
with the Pope was the occasion which they seized for 
claiming emancipation from priestly thrall, and em- 
bracing the heaven-born blessing of religious liberty. 
During the short reign of Edward VI. the work of 
Eeformation proceeded vigorously. But after the few 
days' elevation of Lady Jane Grey, Bloody Mary was 
proclaimed, and soon began those horrible atrocities 
upon the Protestants which will give to her name an 
unenviable immortality. She at once restored the 
ceremony of the mass ; made Gardiner and Pole and 
Bonner her chief councillors ; received formal absolu- 
tion from the Pope's legate on behalf of the country ; 
threw her sister Elizabeth into prison ; and hurried 
hundreds of Protestants to a martyr's grave. Those 
were the days 

" When persecuting zeal made royal sport 
Of royal innocence in Mary's Court ; 
Then Bonner, blithe as shepherd at a wake, 
Enjoyed the show, and danced about the stake." 

On the morning of November 17th, 1558, Mary died. 
Parliament was at once summoned, and Elizabeth's 
claims were rapturously acknowledged. She had been 
removed from close custody in the Tower to Hatfield, 
where some degree of liberty was allowed her. Hear- 
ing of her sister's death, and her own proclamation, 
she at once left her retreat and made for the metropolis. 
At Highgate she was met by the Bishops, all of whom 
were courteously received except Bonner, the man of 


blood. From him she turned with expressions of 
loathing. Visiting the Tower, where a little while 
before she lay a prisoner because of her Protestantism, 
and contrasting her present and former position, she 
gave thanks to God, and renewed her resolution to 
restore and uphold the Eeformed religion. 

From the moment of her accession she made no 
secret of her intentions ; and her royal motto was, 
" Semper eadem." The selection of her councillors 
displayed great acuteness of understanding and strength 
of will. As a matter of expediency, she retained seve- 
ral of her sister's ministers; but, by her nomination 
of others, she gave unmistakable indications as to her 
view of the Papacy. She gathered around her throne 
the noblest and ablest men of that age; and they 
devoted themselves to her interests with a gallantry, 
as well as ability, worthy of all praise. 

The coronation took place on January 13th, 1559, 
the Queen having the day previously gone to the 
Tower, in solemn procession, according to ancient cus- 
tom. There was great difficulty in finding a Prelate to 
conduct the service. Several sees were then vacant 
by death, and the Catholic bishops refused to undertake 
the ceremony because of the Queen's intentions respect- 
ing Popery. At length Oglethorpe, of Carlisle, was 
prevailed upon. The ceremony was performed according 
to the Roman pontifical, except that the elevation of 
the host was omitted. During the procession from the 
Tower, a circumstance occurred which gave general 
joy. While passing along Cheapside, amid the accla- 
mations of the people, a boy who was intended to 
personate Truth was let down from one of the trium- 


phal arches, and gracefully handed to her Majesty a 
copy of the Bible. She took and pressed the volume 
to her heart ; and declared that of all the costly pre- 
sents she had that day received, this was by far the 
most precious and acceptable ; that it should be her 
constant companion and the guide of her life. 

The Queen speedily summoned her ministers for 
consultation as to the best mode of accomplishing the 
restoration of Protestantism. She recalled those who, 
because of the persecution of the preceding reign, had 
gone into exile, and set at liberty all who were in 
prison for the sake of conscience. There is a story 
told of one Eainsford, who, when the Queen was thus 
giving liberty to the captive, humbly approached her 
Majesty, and said he had a petition to present on 
behalf of certain other prisoners who had undergone a 
sacl confinement during her predecessor's sway. Their 
names were Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and others. 
She pleasantly replied that it would be her duty to 
converse with the prisoners first, to see whether or not 
they desired their liberty, and if they did they should 
certainly have it. 

She forbade henceforth the elevation of the host, 
issued a proclamation for the public service to be con- 
ducted chiefly in English, and on the first Christmas 
day of her reign refused to have the mass celebrated 
in her presence. 

A few days after the coronation, the Parliament 
assembled. Keligious questions were soon introduced. 
The statutes made in the time of Henry and Edward 
against the Papacy and in favour of Protestantism, 
which Mary had repealed, were renewed. The first- 


fruits and tenths of ecclesiastical preferments, which 
had been made over to Cardinal Pole for the purpose 
of promoting Popery, were restored to the Crown, 
and the Queen's supremacy was declared, while the 
authority of the Pope was utterly repudiated. The 
oath of supremacy was in strong terms. Whoever 
refused to take it was incapacitated from holding office, 
and all who denied the Queen's supremacy, or attempted 
to destroy the prerogative, were subjected to fine and 
imprisonment, and a third offence was accounted trea- 
son. The Bishops stoutly opposed this piece of legis- 
lation ; but only two temporal peers voted with them, 
while the Commons passed the bill with acclamation. 
The reforming process was now carried on with vigour. 
The whole of the Liturgy was read in the vernacular, 
images were removed, and those officers who would 
not take the oath of supremacy were deposed. There 
were at that time nearly ten thousand church prefer- 
ments in the country; but Eoman Catholics them- 
selves do not enumerate more than two hundred 
depositions ; so that the immense bulk of the clergy 
took the oath, and renounced the Pope. Nearly all 
the Bishops, however, were among the two hundred. 
Tiny were displaced, and after a few days' confine- 
ment had their full liberty, with the exceptions of 
Lincoln and Winchester, who had threatened to excom- 
municate the Queen. Others were appointed. Parker, 
who had been chaplain to Henry, was consecrated 
Archbishop of Canterbury, by three quondam Bishops. 
He then ordained the others. 

The Poman Pontiff was now treated with contempt. 
There was a large bonfire in the public street of 


wooden crucifixes, presenting a happy contrast with 
the flames of the martyrs, which only a little before 
cast their horrid glare over Smithfield and other parts 
of the City. 

But while the vast majority of the nation gratefully 
accepted the Keformation, there were two classes who 
found fault with the Queen's conduct. One was the 
thorough Protestant, who thought she did not go far 
enough : the other was the thorough Papist, who 
thought she went too far. Looking back to that 
period, the impartial judge will say that the Protestant 
had some ground of complaint. Great allowance is to 
be made for her Majesty's position ; but we must always 
regret that when the work of reformation was in hand 
it was not done thoroughly. It may be that to this 
very day Christianity is suffering because some of the 
ligaments which bound and crippled it for ages were 
then permitted to remain. Passing by the harsh treat- 
ment which Elizabeth showed to the Puritans, which 
can never be justified, it had been well if every 
Popish ceremony had been abandoned. Passages were 
permitted to remain in the Book of Common Prayer 
which should have been erased. The prayer which 
was inserted in Edward's time for deliverance from the 
thraldom of the Bishop of Eome was expunged. Many 
of the Eoman Catholic festivals were retained. The 
Queen ordered the communion table to be placed 
where the altar stood. In her own chapel the altar 
table was furnished with rich plate, gilt candlesticks, 
and a massive crucifix ; and she moreover enjoined that 
the sacramental bread should be made after the Popish 
fashion, in the form of wafers. It is said that when 


her chaplain, Nowel, was preaching before her, and 
spake not very reverently of the sign of the cross, 
" she called out from her closet window, commanding 
him to return from that ungodly digression, and get 
back to his text." But on another occasion, when a 
divine had preached a sermon in defence of the real 
presence, " she openly gave him thanks for his pains 
and piety." She would positively have required the 
celibacy of the clergy, had not her ministers interfered ; 
and, indeed, the statute of Mary on this subject was 
not formally repealed till the reign of James I. 

But, after all, these defects must not prevent us 
from rightly estimating her services to Protestant 
truth. On one subject she never wavered — -her hearty 
abhorrence of the Pope's assumptions, and her indomi- 
table resolution to rid England both of them and him. 
She loved her people ; and believing, on the one hand, 
that Popery fettered the understanding and obstructed 
national progress, and that the Protestant religion, on 
the other, would be the safety and elevation of her 
Country, she never really hesitated between the two. 
And, observe, she had not to drag on an unwilling 
population, but had rather to guide and even restrain 
their enthusiasm in favour of an open Bible, freedom 
of conscience, and religious liberty. 

The Elizabethan Keformation may be said to have 
been completed in 1562, when the Forty-two Articles 
of Edward's reign were revised, and the Thirty-nine 
were adopted by Convocation, and subscription to them 
was enforced on the English clergy. But the Queen 
and Country found that the work was only just begun. 
Popish rebellion and treason very soon appeared, and 


m . 

Parliament was driven to enact stringent laws, not so 
much against Roman Catholicism as against the treason- 
able practices which that system instigated and upheld. 

The Queen came to be regarded as the Champion 
of Protestantism throughout Christendom. She entered 
into an alliance with the King of Scotland for the 
maintenance of the Eeformed religion. During the 
third civil war in France she openly allied herself with 
the Protestants there ; and when the Netherlander 
could no longer endure the tyranny of Spain and Italy, 
she espoused their cause, gave their exiles a sanctuary 
in England, and sent both men and money to carry on 
the war. 

There were two parties who, during this struggle, 
mortally hated the Queen. The first, of course, was 
his Holiness the Pope ; the second was his Holiness' 
friend, Philip, King of Spain. 

We begin with his Holiness. From Elizabeth's 
youthhood, the Pope had regarded her, as the heir- 
apparent, with suspicion ; and when she ascended the 
throne, he treated her with insolence. She wrote to 
the ambassador at Eome, telling him to notify her 
accession to the Holy Father. But the reply to the 
Queen's courtesy was a great impertinence. The 
ambassador was told that " England was a fief of the 
Holy See, and it was great temerity in Elizabeth to 
have assumed, without his participation, the title and 
authority of Queen. That were he to proceed with 
rigour he would punish this criminal invasion of his 
rights by rejecting all her applications; but, being- 
willing to treat her with paternal indulgence, he would 
still open the door of grace to her; and that, if she 


would renounce all pretensions to the throne, and submit 
entirely to his will, she should experience the utmost 
lenity, compatible with the dignity of the Apostolic See." 

An infallible Pope, however, can change his manner, 
if not his purpose. Assuming, therefore, a most 
fatherly and tender character, he sent an embassy to 
her Majesty with an affectionate epistle. It was 
addressed to " Our Most Dear Daughter in Christ, 
Elizabeth," and it urged upon her the propriety and 
safety of throwing herself and her people into his 
parental arms. 

Finding, however, that she was not grateful enough 
to appreciate either his letter or ambassador, he thought 
it time to change the ground again and come back to 
his true and proper position. To see a Pope covering 
his face with smiles of affection, and filling his eyes 
with tears of sympathy, when speaking of Protestants, 
is very suggestive. Chagrined, therefore, that his bland- 
ness and assumed affability had not been properly 
appreciated, in great wrath he transformed himself into 
both Vulcan and Jupiter ; and, forging a red-hot 
thunderbolt, he hurled it at England and her island 
Queen. This is a wonderful document, and ought to 
be associated with the famous minute of the Pope's 
Council at Home, which decreed "a pardon to be 
granted to any that would assault the Queen, or to 
any cook, brewer, baker, vintner, physician, grocer, 
surgeon, or any other calling whatever, that would 
make her away ; and an absolute remission of sins to 
the heirs of that party's family, and a perpetual annuity 
to them for ever, and to be of the privy council to 
whomsoever afterwards should reign." 


On 25th May, 1570, a man called John Felton 
affixed a copy of this bull to the gates of the palace of 
the Bishop of London. He was taken into custod) 7 , 
and tried for treason. He acknowledged the act, and 
professed to die a martyr. This bull, and the declara- 
tion of the Pope's Council just cited, led to no end of 
plotting against her Majesty. It is impossible to 
account for the repeated failures, except by acknow- 
ledging the special providence of God. From her very 
childhood she was in danger; and throughout her 
reign the country was disturbed with these attempts 
upon her life. 

In 1568, the Pope sent a man from Florence to 
excite the Eoman Catholics of England to commit this 
murder. In 1569, an Englishman received a similar 
commission from his Holiness. In 1570, a rebellion 
broke out in Ireland, under the same auspices. A few 
years later, James Fitzmarris took from the Pontiff's 
hand a consecrated banner, and came to England on 
the same errand. 1584 witnessed the discovery and 
punishment of Throckmorton's conspiracy. In the 
same year, a Popish missal was published urging the 
ladies of the Queen's household to do to her as Judith 
had done to Holofernes, i.e. to murder her in cold blood 
upon her bed. In 1585, a more dangerous conspiracy 
still was formed. A Roman Catholic, of the house of 
Parry, who had been convicted of treason and pardoned 
by the Queen, went over to Milan to consult a Jesuit 
priest as to the best service he could render to Eome. 
He was assured that nothing could be so meritorious 
as to shoot Elizabeth. The Papal Nuncio in that city 
was consulted, and gave the proposal an unqualified 


approval The traitor then wrote a letter to the Pope, 
detailing his scheme, and asking absolution and bene- 
diction. He received a most applauding answer, and 
the desired indidgence. The assassin came to England, 
and was joined by a nobleman in his bloody purpose. 
The day and circumstances were fixed ; but the noble- 
man betrayed his companion. Parry was tried and 
condemned, and he suffered death. The last and most 
notorious of all the conspiracies against Elizabeth, 
previous to the Spanish invasion, was in 1586. It is 
memorable, because the trial and execution of Mary 
Queen of Scots arose out of it. Ballard, a Romish 
priest, addressed himself to a Derbyshire gentleman, 
who was known to be a warm admirer of Mary ; and 
he not only joined the plot, but secured the co-opera- 
tion of many others. He secretly conveyed the plan 
to Mary, who approved it, and promised that all the 
assassins should be amply rewarded. But a spy of the 
Government became acquainted with the whole scheme. 
At the proper time every conspirator was seized, and 
endured a fearful death. 

Now, let it be remembered that all these attempts 
were instigated by the Popes and their adherents. 
England was lost, and they resolved either to regain it 
or to be avenged. 

"We now look at the other great agent in this Ar- 
mada movement, Philip of Spain. By his devotion to 
the Papacy, he well earned, and proudly wore, the title 
of the " Catholic King." The Reformation in England 
went like a dagger to his heart. He claimed a personal 
interest in the British crown. He was, moreover, eaten 
up of ambition, so that when his interest and inclina- 


tion were backed by the authority of the Pope, he was 
eager to do battle against the Protestantism of this 

He had formerly married Elizabeth's sister and pre- 
decessor. Before Mary's death, she desired that he 
might be proclaimed her successor. The Queen of 
Scots had also pretended to devise her claim to the 
British crown to him. He was, moreover, himself a de- 
scendant of John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward ill. 
So that, accepting, of course, the Popish dogma that 
heretics have no right to reign, he came to the con- 
clusion that the crown of England belonged to him. 
Indeed, immediately after Mary's death, he sought to 
marry Elizabeth ; and of all the noble suitors which 
that royal lady had — and surely no poor creature was 
ever so tormented with lovers — he was the most for- 
midable. His ambassador, who presented the over- 
tures, was instructed to say that the Pope would grant 
him a special licence to marry his former wife's sister. 
She kept him in suspense for a while, as coquettes 
sometimes do, during which he wrote her most loving 
epistles ; and then, instead of a formal refusal, she gave 
him a practical one, by inaugurating the Protestant 
religion. As in the case of other disappointed lovers, 
this gave great offence to Philip ; and he now deter- 
mined that, as she would not marry, she should not 
reign. Well trained, however, in the art of deceit, he 
blandly smiled, and assured his former lady-love that, 
as he could not be her husband, he would be her friend. 
But he at once entered into an alliance with Kome 
against this Country. His war with Portugal, how- 
ever, prevented him for some years from making the 


invasion ; but at length it was urged upon him by the 
Pope as a solemn duty. 

Two occasions for an open rupture were soon pre- 
sented. The first was the sympathy which Elizabeth 
had manifested with the Hollanders in their struggle 
for liberty ; and the second was the execution of Mary 
Queen of Scots. 

But while these were the occasions, the cause of the 
invasion, doubtless, was the determination of England 
to stand by the Protestant religion. Only a few years 
before, the massacre of St. Bartholomew's had taken 
place. More than thirty thousand innocent victims 
were murdered by the command of their king, who had 
just before assured them of his protection. This 
Charles rx, so far from repenting of his atrocious act, 
in commemoration of the event struck a medal, with 
an inscription declaring that it was piety which had 
done the deed. The Pope, moreover, applauded the 
massacre, ordered a jubilee and public thanksgiving, 
and also issued a commemorative medal. 

Now what was done in France in 1572, was in- 
tended to be done on a larger scale in England in 
1588. The Queen had been twice excommunicated. 
She was declared to be a usurper, and her subjects 
were absolved from their allegiance. Every Koman 
Catholic kingdom was exhorted to take up arms 
against her. Those who refused to do so were cursed, 
and a plenary indulgence was offered to all who should 
attempt to depose her. Cardinal Allen was sent into 
Flanders, that he might prepare for and accompany 
the expedition, and was nominated as the Pope's legate 
in England, when it should be subdued. And finally, 


to show that Popery instigated this invasion, his Holi- 
ness promised to contribute a million crowns towards 
the expenses ; but was wily enough to stipulate that 
the money should be paid when England was taken. 

The memorable 1588 at length arrived. It had 
long been predicted that this would be an extraordinary 
year. Some Konigsberg astronomer, a century before, 
had declared that 1588 would be a year of wonders ; 
and the German chronologers had stated that it would 
be the climacterical year of the world. All the Papal 
nations were hoping that the time had come for the 
extirpation of heresy, and the re-establishment of the 
holy faith. It was now generally known that the king 
of Spain was preparing to invade England. He was 
regarded throughout the world as the champion of the 

We are brought to the facts immediately connected 
with the enterprise. 

The preparations which Philip made were most 
extraordinary. For more than two years these had 
been noiselessly going on ; but when the projected 
invasion was no longer a secret, every part of his vast 
dominions resounded with the war-cry. From the 
highest noble to the lowest peasant, service was exacted. 
All the dockyards and arsenals were filled with work- 
men, and the ominous hum was heard throughout the 
lands of Europe. It was pretended that these prepara- 
tions were against America and the Low Countries: 
But Walsingham, through one of his spies, obtained a 
copy of a letter which Philip had privately written to 
the Pope, stating that the design was the invasion of 
England, the death of Elizabeth, the placing of Mary 


on the throne, and the destruction of the Protestant 

Here is the result of this three years' toil: one 
hundred and thirty vessels, twelve of which were 
named after the apostles, and others after the saints of 
the Eomish calendar ; nearly twenty thousand soldiers, 
besides the large army under the Duke of Parma ; 
eight thousand four hundred and fifty marines ; two 
thousand and eighty-eight galley slaves ; two thousand 
six hundred and thirty heavy pieces of cannon, with 
four thousand five hundred and seventy-five quintals 
of gunpowder. Provisions for six months were put on 
board. There was a fabulous quantity of biscuit, 
bacon, fish, cheese, rice, etc. There were fourteen 
thousand one hundred and seventy pipes of wine, with 
thirty-three thousand eight hundred and seventy mea- 
sures of vinegar. 

Another article was supplied to a large extent, in 
the form of priests ; one hundred and eighty of these 
holy men were consecrated to this work. 

These monks and friars were to take an important 
part in subduing the country They brought appro- 
priate weapons. In the vessels which were seized by 
the English commanders, were found many instruments 
of torture. Don Pedro, who was taken prisoner and 
examined before the Lords of the Council as to the 
design of these engines of cruelty, coolly replied, " We 
meant to whip you heretics to death, that have assisted 
my Master's rebels, and done such dishonour to our 
Catholic king and people. And as to the children," 
said he, " they who were above seven years old should 
have gone the way their fathers went ; the rest should 


have lived, branded in the forehead with the letter L, 
for Lutheran, in perpetual bondage." 

A litany was especially prepared for the fleet and 
Koman Catholic churches, in which Heaven was im- 
plored to assist the faithful against the heretics of 
England. Never had superstition a finer opportunity 
for display than here, and never was a people more 
fully under its spell. But it was not the first time 
that superstition had urged the Spaniard to war. In 
the old ballads of that once brave and chivalrous 
nation there are many cases. In one, for instance, 
there is a " description of the miraculous appearance of 
Santiago and San Milan, mounted on snow-white steeds, 
and fighting for the cause of Christendom, at the battle 
of Simancas :" — 

' ' Ajid when the kings were in the field, their squadrons in array, 
With lance in rest they onward pressed, to mingle in the fray ; 
But soon upon the Christians fell a terror of their foes — 
These were a numerous army — a little handful those. 

' ' And while the Christian people stood in this uncertainty, 
Upward to heaven they turned their eyes, and fixed their thoughts 

on high ; 
And there two figures they beheld, all beautiful and bright, 
Even than the pure new-fallen snow their garments were more white. 

" They rode upon two horses, more white than crystal sheen, 
And arms they bore, such as before no mortal man had seen. 
The one he held a crosier, — a pontiffs mitre wore ; 
The other held a crucifix — such man ne'er saw before. 

' ' The Christian host, beholding this, straightway take heart again ; 
They fall upon their bended knees, all resting on the plain ; 
And each one with his clenched fist to smite his breast begins, 
And promises to God on high he will forsake his sins. 

" And when the heavenly knights drew near unto the battle ground, 
They dashed among the Moors, and dealt unerring blows around ; 


Such deadly havoc there they made the foremost ranks along, 
A panic terror spread into the hindmost of the throng. 

" Down went the misbelievers, fast sped the bloody fight ; 
Some ghastly and dismembered lay, and some half-dead with fright. 
Full sorely they repented that to the field they came, 
For they saw that from the battle they should retreat with shame. 

" Another thing befell them — they dreamed not of such woes — 
The very arrows that the Moors shot from their twanging bows 
Turned back against them in their flight, and wounded them full sore, 
And every blow they dealt the foe was paid in drops of gore. 

' ' Now he that bore the crosier, and the papal crown had on, 
Was the glorified apostle, the brother of St. John ; 
And he that held the crucifix, and wore the monkish hood, 
Was the holy San Milan of Cogolla's neighbourhood." 

When the fleet -was nearly ready, King Philip 
assembled his Councillors to consult whether it was 
better to attack England first, or begin with Holland. 
The resolution to invade England was taken, though 
against the opinions of the best Spanish officers. 

The plan of operations was also deliberated, and it 
was agreed that the Armada should sail to the coast 
opposite to Dunkirk and Nieuport, and having chased 
away all English and Flemish vessels, should join the 
Duke of Parma, — thence make sail to the Thames, and 
having landed the whole Spanish army, thus complete 
at one blow the conquest of England. The chief officer 
received orders that in passing along the Channel he 
should avoid an engagement with the English fleet, 
and keeping in view the main enterprise, neglect all 
smaller successes which might prove an obstacle or 
even interpose a delay to the acquisition of a kingdom. 
And now that every preparation was made, the admirals 
obtained their commissions; the Pope blessed the 


enterprise ; and the King, confident of success, took the 
christening out of the hands of his Holiness, and named 
it the " Invincible Armada." 

"We now look at the preparations which this country 
made to meet the formidable foe. For some time a 
sharp look-out had been kept on the Spaniard by the 
English ministers, so that the danger was really appre- 
hended. The moment was felt to be at hand which 
would decide whether England should maintain its 
Protestant independency, or crouch once more at the 
feet of Eome. It was a case of life or death ; and 
nobly did all classes rush to the rescue. 

With that quick-sightedness which distinguished 
the Queen and her two principal advisers, special care 
was taken as to the selection of Commanders. This 
was the more necessary because of the superiority 
of the enemy's navy. They had the advantage in 
everything but heart and Providence. The pluck of 
the British sailor was unconquerable ; and God, merci- 
fully, never left us. There were then only fourteen 
thousand seamen in the kingdom. " The size of the 
English shipping was, in general, so small, that, except 
a few of the Queen's ships of war, there were not four 
vessels belonging to the merchants which exceeded 
four hundred tons. The royal navy consisted only of 
twenty-eight sail, many of which were of small size ; 
none of them exceeding the bulk of our largest frigates, 
and most of them rather deserving the name of 
pinnaces than of ships. The only advantage of the 
English fleet consisted in the dexterity and courage of 
the seamen ; who, being accustomed to sail in tem- 
pestuous seas, and to expose themselves to all dangers, 


as much exceeded in this particular the Spanish 
mariners, as their vessels were inferior in size and 
force to those of that nation." 

The chief command was given to the Lord High 
Admiral, the Earl of Effingham and Nottingham, 
commonly called Lord Howard. No man was more 
remarkable for the union of courage and judgment ; 
and his appointment to the command of the fleet in- 
spired hopes of success. 

He was supported by three of the noblest sailors in 
the world. Sir Francis Drake was made Vice- Admiral. 
Though born of mean parentage, he was trained in the 
right school. Very early in life he committed his 
fortunes to the waves, and soon earned a reputation. 
In 1 5 6 7, he obtained a commission, and joined the ex- 
pedition of Sir John Hawkins to the Gulf of Mexico. 
The enterprise failed, and he only just escaped the 
hands of the Spaniards. The chaplain of bis vessel 
taught him a lesson on sea-divinity to this effect : that, 
as the King of Spain's subjects had treated Mr. Drake 
badly, it was Mr. Drake's duty to treat the King of 
Spain in the same manner ; and he became a profound 
theologian of that particular school. He sailed in the 
Dragon to America, more in the character of a pirate 
than a British officer; took immense prizes, and 
returned home. The next year found him on the 
same track. His successes were unexampled, and he 
came back with a fabulous sum of money ; so that, at 
the distance of a century, Sir William Davenant, the 
poet-laureate in the reign of Charles 11., made this 
expedition the basis of a dramatic performance, called 
The, History of Sir Francis Drake. 


This distinguished adventurer was introduced at 
Court; and, having received the command of a small 
squadron, he undertook his celebrated voyage round 
the world. The Queen graciously received him on 
his return ; and, stepping aboard his little vessel, near 
Deptford, she conferred on him the honour of knight- 
hood. The scholars of Winchester school took their 
part in that day's pageant, and having composed some 
lines in honour of their hero, posted them upon the 
mainmast of his ship : — 

" Sir Drake, whom well the world's end knows, 
Which thou didst compass round, 
And whom both poles of heaven once saw, 
Which North and South do bound : 

' ' The stars above would make thee known, 
If men here silent were ; 
The sun himself cannot forget 
His fellow-traveller. " 

While the King of Spain was making his huge pre- 
parations, Drake was despatched to destroy his ships, 
and intercept his provisions. He took and fired one 
hundred vessels in the port of Calais, and captured 
large quantities of ammunition. And when the British 
fleet was officered, he was second in command. 

Sir John Hawkins and Sir Martin Frobisher were 
appointed Eear- Admirals ; while Lord Henry Somerset, 
second son of the great Duke, had charge of forty 
vessels on the Netherlands coast, to look after the 
Duke of Parma. 

The preparations were made with the utmost 
energy, under the guidance of a Council of War which 
the Queen had nominated. They issued an order 


declaring that "the places most convenient for the 
enemy's landing, as Milford Haven, Falmouth, Ply- 
mouth, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, the Downs, the 
Thames' mouth, Harwich, Yarmouth, Hull, and others, 
should be well manned and fortified — that the trained 
soldiers of those shires which lay near the coast should 
defend those places, and be ready, at the alarm, to 
hinder the enemy from landing — and if they did land, 
to lay the country waste, that they might find no 
subsistence, and, by continually crying ' Arm, arm !' 
give the enemy no rest ; but yet they were not to give 
battle till more commanders and their soldiers were 
come up." 

The Queen issued a letter to each lord-lieutenant, 
urging him to bestir himself at this time of exigency 
The Council despatched a circular to the nobles of the 
land, with the same intent. To these demands prompt 
responses were given, and every shire sent up its com- 
plement of men and furniture. 

All the commercial towns were required to furnish 
ships for the reinforcement of the royal navy ; and 
right heartily did they perform the task. London fitly 
took the lead : fifteen ships and five thousand men 
had been requested, but the Metropolitan City provided 
twenty-three thousand soldiers, twenty-nine vessels, 
and two thousand marines. I see among the list of 
shipping the name of the Mayflower. May it not have 
been that very vessel which, a few years later, con- 
veyed the Pilgrim Fathers to their New England 
home ? A Protestaut ship that, every inch of her ; 
and it may be that when the Great Eastern is 
forgotten, the Mayflower will live, as the memorial of 


Papal intolerance, and of the eternal rights of an 
Englishman — his civil and religious liberty. 

The result of all this preparation is thus stated : 
one hundred and forty-three vessels — though very 
few of them were men-of-war. The army numbered 
seventy-nine thousand men, and was arranged in three 
divisions : twenty thousand troops were stationed on 
the South Coast ; twenty-two thousand foot and one 
thousand horse at Tilbury ; and thirty-six thousand to 
protect her Majesty. 

It is said — though there is some dispute as to the 
fact — that these preparations were greatly stimulated 
by a project which has had, and will yet have, a power- 
ful influence on the destinies of England. The country 
was quickly aroused by the tidings of the coming- 
invasion, and the Queen appreciated her situation. 
Destitute of allies — Scotland and Ireland just in the 
balance — the most powerful monarch in the world as 
her adversary, and many matters at home in a critical 
position, she saw that her safety, under God, was in 
the enthusiasm of her people. The first newspaper 
ever published is said to have been then started, under 
the name of the English Mercury. Its professed object 
was to excite the national mind in these preparations 
for the Armada ; and nobly did that Mercury accom- 
plish the purpose. Number after number dealt severe 
blows against Popery, and touched in no delicate man- 
ner the doings of his Holiness and the King of Spain. 
The barbarities of Mary's reign were reproduced. Ex- 
citing pictures of St. Bartholomew's were published. 
The cruelties of the Inquisition were portrayed. The 
engines of torture accumulating for the Armada were 


described. All England was urged, by the love of 
home and family, by the calls of patriotism and loyalty, 
to unite with the Government against the common foe. 

Some writers date the commencement of newspapers 
a few years later ; but, if what I have stated be cor- 
rect, it is interesting to know that the press of England 
had a Protestant origin ; and earnestly may we hope 
that the immense power which it wields may always 
be on the side of truth. It is now the purest and, 
therefore, the most powerful in the world. This first 
English newspaper, as it has been termed, is now pre- 
served in the library of the British Museum. It cer- 
tainly does not bear all the marks of genuineness one 
would like to see ; but, whether genuine or spurious, 
it is an interesting document. It is headed, " The 
English Mercury, Published by Authority, for the Pre- 
vention of False Reports," and dated " Whitehall, July 
23, 1588." It consists of four quarto pages. The 
first page announces the appearance of the Spanish 
fleet on the Devon coast. The second page gives a de- 
scription of the first engagement. The third recounts 
the Spanish preparations ; and the fourth relates an 
interview between the City authorities and the Queen. 

While the military and political preparations were 
going on, the Government did not think it beneath its 
calling to commit the case to the benediction and inter- 
position of Heaven. " The horse is prepared against the 
day of battle : but safety is of the Lord." It is the 
height of folly to attribute victory to merely human 
causes, and it is the height of wisdom to acknowledge 
all that is good as the gift of God. Prayers suited to 
the occasion were prepared and used throughout the 


nation. Public fasts were enjoined, and in the Queen's 
chapel special intercession was offered on her behalf, 
as well as for her subjects. 

To inspire the army with fresh heroism, her Majesty 
resolved, though contrary to the advice of the Secretary, 
to visit Tilbury, where part of the troops were stationed 
under the Earl of Leicester. Her presence had the 
desired effect. Wherever she went, accompanied by 
the officers, she was received with enthusiasm. She 
assumed the orator as well as the soldier. Her ener- 
getic speech well-nigh drove her warriors mad ; and 
in their ungovernable excitement they pledged them- 
selves to death or victory. Sitting upon a richly 
caparisoned war-horse, and holding a marshal's trun- 
cheon in her hand, while Essex on one side and Lei- 
cester on the other held the bridle-reins, she said : 
" My loving people, we have been persuaded by some 
that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we 
commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of 
treachery ; but I assure you that I do not desire to 
live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let 
tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself, that 
(under God) I have placed my chiefest strength and 
safeguard in the loyal hearts and goodwill of my sub- 
jects ; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you 
see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, 
but being resolved in the midst and heat of the battle 
to live or die amongst you all — to lay down, for my 
God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my 
honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I 
have the body but of a weak and feeble woman ; but I 
have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a kin" 


of England too ; and think fine scorn that Parma or 
Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade 
the borders of my realm — to which, rather than any 
dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up 
arms — I myself will be your general, judge, and 
rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field ; not 
doubting we shall shortly have a famous victory over 
those enemies of my God, my kingdom, and my people." 

A schedule is preserved, showing the number of men 
which each County furnished. There is also a financial 
statement as to the daily expense of this army. The 
lieutenant-general received six pounds per day; but 
most of the other officers were put on short commons. 
The judge-general had only two shillings and eight- 
pence, the gaoler one shilling and eightpence, while 
the trumpeter, the clerk, and the surgeon were put on 
a level — one shilling and sixpence each. 

A Council of War was held as to the plan of opera- 
tions. The course to be pursued on land has been 
already stated ; and it was agreed that the admiral's 
policy should be defensive — not to engage in a regular 
sea-fight, but to follow up any advantage which Pro- 
vidence might offer for harassing and dividing the 
Spanish fleet. 

It was on the 29th of May, that the Armada sailed 
from the port of Lisbon, the Tagus having been ap- 
pointed as the rendezvous of the whole fleet. But 
from the very day of sailing, and even before, disaster 
befell it. The ablest seaman of Spain, who had been 
appointed to the chief command, was seized with fever, 
and died, just as the preparations were completed. By 
a singular concurrence, the Vice- Admiral was at the 



same time carried away by death. An officer was 
then appointed, who had no recommendation but the 
nobility of his birth, and when opposed to British 
sagacity and valour, this did not go for much. 

On the day after leaving the port, a violent storm 
arose, which did great damage ; so much so, that several 
vessels were lost altogether, and the rest were glad 
to take refuge in the Corunna harbour. When the 
news of this first casualty reached England, the Sec- 
retary of State wrote to Admiral Howard, saying that 
the storm had doubtless prevented the Armada coming 
that year, and therefore he must send into port, for 
the autumn and winter, four of his largest ships. But 
he was not so credulous as the Secretary ; and begged, 
even though it were at his own cost, that the fleet 
..might remain as it was, till the truth was known. He 
would not wait for a reply; but, taking advantage of 
a favourable breeze, resolved to see for himself. He 
sailed within a few miles of the Spanish coast, when 
the wind came directly about to the South ; and, know- 
ing that that wind might bring the enemy to our 
shores, he wisely turned round and made his way to 

Just as he supposed, the Spanish Admiral set sail. 
He soon came up with a small fishing-boat, the master 
of which told him that the English Admiral had been 
at sea, had heard of the storm which had overtaken 
the Armada, and, believing that the enterprise must 
be abandoned for a year, he had laid up his vessels, 
and discharged his seamen. This false intelligence 
led him to break his orders ; and, instead of joining 
the Duke of Parma, he resolved to sail to Plymouth, 


and, as he supposed, quietly take possession of the 
English shipping, and proclaim King Philip all over 
the Country. About sunset on July 19 th, the Armada 
made the Lizard Point. The Spanish Admiral was 
not well up in his Geography, and took it for the Earn 
Head, near Plymouth. He therefore bore out into the 
sea for the night, resolving next morning to take the 

An English pirate, Thomas Fleming, had fallen in 
with the Armada, but had escaped, and run into 
Plymouth, with the intelligence that the Spaniards 
were coming. For this service he received his pardon 
and a pension for life. When Lord Howard returned 
from the Spanish coast, he permitted many of his men 
to go ashore ; but, as soon as the news arrived, all 
hands were summoned. As an illustration of the 
coolness and courage of the British tar, it is said that 
at this moment the officers were on the Hoe playing 
at bowls. When the call was sounded, there was a 
rush to the boats ; but Sir F Drake insisted that the 
match should be played out, for there was time 
enough, he said, both to finish the game and to beat 
the Spaniards. It had been arranged that, on the first 
appearance of the enemy, beacon-fires should be raised 
on the coast ; so that, being extended from one hill to 
another, the tidings might speedily flame through the 
land. This was done, and in an incredibly short time 
all Endand was in arms : — 


" It was about the lovely close of a warm summer-day, 
There came a gallant merchant-ship full sail to Plymouth Bay ; 
Her crew hatli seen Castile's black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle, 
At earliest twilight, on the wares lie hearing many a milo. 


At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial grace ; 
And the tall Pinta, till the noon, had held her close in chase. 
Forthwith a guard at every gun was placed along the wall ; 
The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgecumbe's lofty hall ; 
Many a light fishing-bark put out to pry along the coast, 
And with loose rein and bloody spur rode inland many a post. 
With his white hair unbonneted, the stout old sheriff comes ; 
Behind him march the halberdiers ; before him sound the drums ; 
His yeomen round the Market Cross make clear an ample space ; 
For there behoves him to set up the standard of her Grace. 
And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells, 
As slow upon the labouring wind the Royal blazon swells. 
Look how the Lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown, 
And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down. 
So stalked he when he turned to flight, on that famed Picard field, 
Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Csesar's eagle shield. 
So glared he when at Agincourt in wrath he turned to bay, 
And crushed and torn beneath his claws the princely hunters lay. 
Ho ! strike the flag-staff deep, Sir Knight : ho ! scatter flowers, fair 
maids : 
% Ho ! gunners, fire a loud salute : ho ! gallants, draw your blades : 
Thou sun, shine on her joyously ; ye breezes, waft her wide ; 
Our glorious Semper eadem, the banner of our pride. 

The fresh'ning breeze of eve unfurled that banner's massy fold ; 
The parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty scroll of gold. 
Night sank upon the dusky beach, and on the purple sea, 
Such night in England ne'er had been, nor e'er again shall be. 
From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to Milford Bay, 
That time of slumber was as bright and busy as the day ; 
For swift to East, and swift to West, the ghastly war-flame spread, 
High on St. Michael's Mount it shone ; it shone on Beachy Head. 
Far on the deep the Spaniard saw, along each Southern shire, 
Cape beyond cape, in endless range, those twinkling points of fire. 
The fisher left his skiff to rock on Tamar's glittering waves : 
The rugged miners poured to war from Mendip's sunless caves : 
O'er Longleat's towers, o'er Cranbourne's oaks, the fiery herald flew : 
He roused the shepherds of Stonehenge, the rangers of Beaulieu. 
Right sharp and quick the bells all night rang out from Bristol town, 
And ere the day three hundred horse had met on Clifton Down. 
The sentinel on Whitehall Gate looked forth into the night, 
And saw o'erhanging Richmond Hill the streak of blood-red light. 


Then bugle's note and cannon's roar the death-like silence broke, 
And with one start, and with one cry, the Royal City woke. 
At once on all her stately gates arose the answering fires ; 
At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling spires ; 
From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the voice of fear ; 
And all the thousand masts of Thames sent back a louder cheer : 
And from the farthest wards was heard the rush of hurrying feet, 
And the broad streams of pikes and flags rushed down each roaring 

And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the din, 
As fast from every village round the horse came spurring in. 
And eastward straight from wild Blackheath the warlike errand went, 
And roused in many an ancient hall the gallant squires of Kent. 
Southward from Surrey's pleasant hills flew those bright couriers 

High on bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor they started for the North ; 
And on, and on, without a pause, untired they bounded still ; 
All night from tower to tower they sprang, they sprang from hill 

to hill: 
Till the proud peak unfurled the flag o'er Darwin's rocky dales, 
Till like volcanoes flared to heaven the stony hills of Wales, 
Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely height, 
Till streamed in crimson on the wind the Wrekin's crest of light, 
Till broad and fierce the star came forth on Ely's stately fane, 
And tower and hamlet rose in arms o'er all the boundless plain ; 
Till Belvoir's lordly terraces the sign to Lincoln sent, 
And Lincoln sped the message on o'er the wide vale of Trent ; 
Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's embattled pile, 
And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle." 

During that first night, the wind blew heavily into 
the mouth of Plymouth harbour, so that the utmost 
exertion was required to get the ships out of the 
Sound ; but the Admiral worked hand to hand with 
the humblest sailor, and before daylight every vessel 
was in its proper place. As the morning broke on the 
horizon, the magnificent fleet of the enemy was seen, 
"disposed in the form of a crescent, and stretching 
the distance of seven miles, from the extremity of one 

1 1 8 Q U%EN ELIZABE Tff, AND 

division to that of the other." Seeing the English 
vessels in battle array, the Spanish Admiral made for 
the Channel. He was allowed to pass by ; and then 
Howard sent his pinnace -boat, the Disdain, to fire 
the first shot. The little vessel seemed proud of the 
honour, and gallantly did her duty. The Admiral, 
supported by Drake, Hawkins, and Erobisher, followed ; 
and the result of the first encounter was the capture 
of the great galleon belonging to the commander of the 
Andalusian squadron, Don Pedro ; and four hundred 
men were made prisoners. Five thousand ducats, found 
in the vessel, were distributed among the English sea- 

Nothing was done by our fleet against the enemy 
the next day ; but a Dutch gunner belonging to the 
Armada revenged an insult offered to his wife and 
daughter by firing the gunpowder in the ship which 
carried the King's treasurer. There was an engage- 
ment on the 23rd, but with little result to either side. 
Intelligence of the first battle had been widely circu- 
lated, and many of the nobility came and begged 
permission to join the fleet. The Lord Admiral con- 
ferred the honour of knighthood on five officers for 
their distinguished valour. On the 24th and two 
following days, there was a calm, which prevented 
any action. The Spanish Admiral was at anchor off 
Calais, waiting for the Duke of Parma; but that 
officer refused to leave the harbour. He did, how- 
ever, promise to send ten thousand men, if they could 
be got upon the Spanish ships. The English Admiral 
saw the importance of preventing this; and, in a 
Council of War, resolved upon a singular stratagem. 


He filled eight of the oldest ships under his command 
with combustible material ; and in the dead of night 
fired them, and sent them before the wind, which had 
just sprung up, into the midst of the Armada. The 
success of this scheme was extraordinary, for the 
Spaniards thought they were the " infernal machines " 
which had recently been used at the siege of Antwerp. 
Several captains, therefore, cut their cables, and let 
the vessels drive ; others slipped their anchors and 
took to flight; one huge ship fell foul of another, and 
struck upon the sands. Early the next morning, 
while the Armada was in confusion, the English 
attacked in great force ; and twelve of the largest 
vessels were destroyed or compelled to surrender. 
One of the capital ships of the enemy, having been 
long battered by an English captain of the name of 
Cross, was sunk during the engagement. Only a few 
of the crew were saved, who stated that one of the 
officers had proposed to surrender, but that he was 
killed by another, who was enraged at his proposal ; 
that this other was killed by the brother of the first, 
and that it was in the midst of this bloody scene that 
the ship went to the bottom. 

It was, however, diligently reported in France that 
the Armada had succeeded, and that England was 
taken. The Queen was made prisoner and sent to 
Home, it was stated ; and there, barefoot, she must 
make her humble confession to the Pope. The Spanish 
Ambassador in Paris was in ecstasies. He ran breathless 
to the Cathedral, and, flourishing his rapier, cried, "Vic- 
toire, Victoire ! " But, next day, when the truth was 
known, he was in sad disgrace. Many insulted him 


in the streets, and sarcastically begged him to bestow- 
on them a few old ruined towns and villages, such as 
London, Canterbury, Bristol, and York. 

But while the Spanish Ambassador in Paris was 
shouting victory, the Spanish Admiral in the Channel 
was not so jubilant. He saw that the enterprise was 
a gigantic failure, and that the whole fleet would be 
destroyed, unless he could soon get home. Indeed, he 
had resolved to surrender ; but his father-confessor dis- 
suaded him. He took to flight instead. Orders were 
then given to throw overboard the horses and mules, 
to save water and lighten the ships, and to make all 
possible sail. The English followed them to the Firth 
of Forth ; and then gave up the chase, well knowing 
that the stormy weather in those narrow seas would do 
more execution than their own guns. And so it proved ; 
fo^a violent storm overtook them as they passed the 
Orkneys. " The ships had already lost their anchors 
and were obliged to keep to sea; the mariners, un- 
accustomed to such hardships, and not able to govern 
such unwieldy vessels, yielded to the fury of the 

It is said that eighty-one ships were lost, and nearly 
fourteen thousand men ; while on the side of the 
English, only one small vessel was taken, and the 
Country scarcely mourned the loss of a sailor. 

" Destruction follows where her flag is seen, 
And haughty Spaniards stoop to Britain's Queen." 

Many of the Spanish vessels were cast upon the 
coast of Scotland. It is right to say here, that the 
King of Scots acted a wise part throughout this 


struggle. It is true he resented, as might be expected, 
his mothers execution; but he plainly saw that if 
Philip succeeded in England, his own Country could 
not long survive. He was, therefore, in the habit of 
saying that the only favour he could hope for from his 
Catholic Majesty, would be that granted by Polyphemus 
to Ulysses, viz. that, after all the rest were devoured, 
he should be swallowed the last. 

These calamities produced an overwhelming effect 
on Spain. Scarcely was there a noble family whose 
mansion was not darkened by death, and a universal 
wail was heard through the land ; so much so, that 
the King became alarmed for his own throne ; and, 
imitating the conduct of the Eoman government after 
the battle of Cannae, he issued a proclamation to 
shorten the time of public mourning. 

It is true the accounts differ as to the temper in 
which Philip received intelligence of the disaster. 
Some assert that he was writing a letter at the 
moment, and heard the announcement with heroic 
coolness, saying that he sent his fleet to fight against 
the English, and not against the winds ; and that he 
even fell down upon his knees, and gave thanks that 
the calamity was no greater. This, however, looks too 
good ; and, considering his haughty spirit, is very 
improbable. We rather believe the other version, 
given on the authority of a Spanish writer, that the 
King was at mass in his private Chapel, when he heard 
the tidings ; and was so enraged that, taking a fearful 
oath, he swore he would waste and consume his 
crown, even to the value of a candlestick (pointing to 
one on the altar), and utterly ruin Elizabeth and 


England; or else he and all Spain would become 
tributary to her. 

As to the Pope's bearing on this occasion, he was 
greatly mortified that his enemies were not crushed, 
but thankful that he had not to pay the million of 
crowns towards the expenses, and he chuckled no 
little over his diplomatic foresight. He did, however, 
send a letter of sympathy to the King, who smartly 
replied, that " the loss concerned the Pontiff as much 
as himself, as it had been undertaken by his direction ; 
and that in the next attempt the Church must lead 
the way, and he would follow," 

For several weeks, the Spanish and Italians an- 
nounced that the enterprise had succeeded admirably. 
A pamphlet and many letters were published, stating 
the particulars of the victory. The Queen was made 
prisoner, and carried into Italy. Drake was either 
slain or captured ; only one of the Spanish vessels 
was lost, while forty of the English had been sunk at 
one encounter, and the few which had escaped had run 
into a Scottish port; and all Scotland had risen up 
in arms against England. So thoroughly were the 
people imposed upon, that a grand banquet was got up 
in Kome, to celebrate the conquest. 

When, however, the truth became known, there was 
sad recrimination and angry feeling. The Spanish navy 
blamed the Duke of Parma. The Duke of Parma blamed 
the Spanish Admiral. The Admiral blamed his orders. 
And, finally, the priests, who had been blessing the 
Armada ever since it started, suddenly discovered that 
the reason why Providence had not prospered it, was 
that the Moors had not been expelled from Spain. 


It is impossible to describe the transports of joy 
into which England was thrown by this deliverance. 
It was not merely a mutiny crushed, as in India ; nor 
a victory gained against fearful odds, as at Inkerman ; 
nor a glorious display of courage in the face of death, 
as at Balaclava ; nor a long-beleaguered city stormed 
and breached and taken, as at Sebastopol ; nor a 
world-wide ambition checked, as at Waterloo : but it 
was the mercy of all these deliverances concentrated 
together. The whole Country saved, home saved, 
liberty saved, the British Constitution saved, the Queen 
saved, sanctuary saved, the Bible saved, and, to con- 
summate and crown the whole, the Protestant religion, 
which makes nations great and peoples happy, is saved 
by one of the most extraordinary interpositions of 
Providence which the history of our world records. 
Give God the glory : " If it had not been the Lord 
who was on our side, when men rose up against us : 
then they had swallowed us up quick, when their 
wrath was kindled against us ; then the waters had 
overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul : 
then the proud waters had gone over our soul." How 
gratefully ought we to respond : "Blessed be the Lord, 
who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our 
soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the 
fowlers : the snare is broken, and we are escaped." 

It is pleasing to know that the first thoughts of the 
Country were directed to Heaven. Immediately on 
the arrival of the tidings, the people crowded into the 
sanctuaries and to St. Paul's Cross to express their 
gratitude. There the captured banners were displayed 
on the Sabbath; and on the week days they were hung 


upon London Bridge. November 1 7th, the anniversary 
of the Queen's accession, was a joyous day in London, 
in celebration of the two events. Tuesday the 19 th 
was the national holiday ; but Sunday the 24th was 
the, day on which a nation's Thanksgiving was offered 
to Heaven. The Queen, in all the pomp of state, 
proceeded in a splendid chariot from Whitehall to 
St. Paul's Cathedral. Arriving there, she fell on her 
knees upon the pavement, and loudly offered praise to 
God. At the conclusion of the service, she addressed 
a few words to the crowd, beseeching them not to 
forget this signal deliverance. A form of thanksgiving 
was prepared for this occasion, properly expressing joy 
and humiliation. 

Addresses of congratulation were sent to the palace 
from all parts of the Country. It is true, though all 
these were sincere and hearty, some of them were not 
distinguished by the refinement of expression which 
befits a Court. It is said that the Mayor of Coventry 
was deputed by that ancient town to convey its loyal 
thanksgivings. His lordship assured her Majesty in 
strong language — language more suggestive than polite 
— that the King of Spain, in waging war with her, 
" had taken the wrong sow by the ear !" 

The Queen testified her admiration of the officers 
and navy by pensions and promotions. Medals were 
struck with appropriate inscriptions. On one there 
was represented a weather-beaten fleet, with the motto, 
" Afflavit Deus, et dissipantur," — God blew, and they 
were scattered. On another there were vessels flying 
with full sail, and the words, " Venit, Vidit, Fugit." 
Another, in special honour of the Queen, represented 


the fire-ships, and a fleet in confusion, with the inscrip- 
tion, " Dux faemina facti." Upon another, floating and 
sinking ships were stamped on one side, and on the 
other were supplicants on their knees, with the motto, 
" Man proposeth — God disposeth." Several others 
were circulated in England ; and in Holland, where 
the joy was only second to our own, there was one 
representing the Pope, Cardinals, and Princes sitting in 
council blindfold, and treading on iron spikes, with the 
motto, " It is hard to kick against the pricks ;" and 
another, bearing the arms of their Country, and the 
words, " Glory to God alone." All the Protestants of 
Europe felt the deliverance, and ascribed salvation to 
the Lord of hosts. 

Triumphal poems, in several languages, celebrated 
this event. King James 1. tried his hand at poetizing 
as well as government. His lines are neither Miltonic 
nor Shakespearian, but, coming from the throne, they 
are worth repeating : — 

" The nations banded gainst the Lord of Might, 
Prepared a force and set them to the way ; 
Mars dressed himselfe in such an awful plight, 
The like whereof was never seene, they say : 
They forward came in monstrous array ; 
Both sea and land beset us everywhere ; 
Bragges threatened us a ruinous decay. 
What came of that ? The issue did declare. 
The winds began to toss them here and there, 
The seas began in foaming waves to swell. 
The number that escaped, it fell them faire ; 
The rest were swallowed up in gulphs of hell. 
But how were all these things miraculous done ? 
God laught at them out of his heavenly throne. " 

Cowper was not of royal birth, but he was born a 


poet. His lines on the overthrow of the Armada are 
nervous and beautiful : — 

" His power secured thee when presumptuous Spain 
Baptized her fleet Invincible in vain : 
Her gloomy monarch, doubtful, and resigned 
To every pang that racks an anxious mind, 
Asked of the waves that broke upon his coast, 
What tidings ? And the surge replied, ' All lost ! ' " 

I close with a brief but earnest appeal to the mem- 
bers of this Association. My fellow-warriors in the 
world's great battle ! it is our lot to be in the midst of 
the conflict between truth and error. The privilege of 
living in these days is united with heavy responsibility. 
Our fathers have not only left us an inheritance of 
truth, but an example of courage. Many of them 
fought long, and some of them died, to secure for us 
Che Bible and the right to read it. The enemy is 
again pressing hard for a surrender. In some places 
is he seeking covertly to destroy The Book; and, like a 
vampire, would suck its life away, by denying its inspi- 
ration. In other places, more openly does the war of per- 
secution rage ; and at this moment there are hundreds 
of good men and women in prison on the Continent of 
Europe, for the sake of conscience. The battle waxes 
hot. We exhort you to prepare yourselves for the 
fight, by a personal devotion to the Great King. You 
will not struggle, and bleed, and die for the truth, 
unless you love it. To battle bravely and successfully, 
you must confederate together. This Association is 
not designed to supersede, but it rather presupposes, 
Church fellowship. Here is one of the rallying-points, 
where, laying aside sectional peculiarities, you may 


muster; and, bracing yourselves up by counsel and 
prayer, you may go forth to glorious war. Is there a 
straggler here, or one who hesitates to take the field ? 
These are not the times either for parley or inactivity : 

" Arise ! for the day is passing, 
While you lie dreaming on ; 
Your brothers are cased in armour, 
And forth to the field are gone. 

" Your place in the ranks awaits you ; 
Each man has a part to play : 
The past and the future are nothing, 
In the face of the stern to-day. " 

Let us all heartily give God thanks for the preserva- 
tion to our Country of the Protestant Eeligion. It is 
this which has made England great, and will keep her 
still in the van of nations. It is this which has given 
to us our Constitution, and secured our liberties. It is 
this which has established among us the house of 
Brunswick, and vouchsafed to us our present noble 
and gracious and precious Queen. We may well be 
grateful that no Salic law ever obtained in England. 
Looking at some of the past occupants of the throne, 
we have no hesitation in saying that the British Crown 
has shone more brilliantly on queenly than on kingly 
brow. What a contrast does the present moral atmo- 
sphere of the Court exhibit with the time when the 
rotten and royal cUbaucM had to be let down from his 
window into the coach, on an inclined plane, that he 
might breathe the fresh air ! What a pattern does 
Queen Victoria present, in dress to the ladies, in con- 
descension to the aristocracy, and in virtue to all ! 
What a royal mother of a happy and loving famfly ! 


What a gracious friend, sympathizing -with the meanest 
of her subjects in their sorrows, and rejoicing with 
them in their joys ! What a Christian ruler, acknow- 
ledging God in her victories, and supplicating Heaven 
in her Country's peril ! May her reign be yet long 
and prosperous ; and may she still sway her sceptre 
over a great and free and Christian nation ! Our 
safety is in our Eeligion. This is Britain's bulwark ; 
and if we surrender our Bible, either to Popery or 
infidelity, the downfall of Old England will begin. 
But let us stand by the Bible, and honour God, and 
the combined forces of scepticism and superstition and 
despotism wage war in vain. 

" This, England never did, nor never shall 
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, 
But when it first did help to wound itself. 
Come the three corners of the world in arms, 
And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us rue, 
If England to itself do rest but true. " 



WHEN" James n. ascended the throne of England, 
the Country was approaching a crisis of its 
history. For some years, royal conduct had been 
alienating the people from the Court. The Refor- 
mation had been hailed with joy by the population ; 
and its purer doctrines had produced a higher morality. 
The restoration of the monarchy gave general satisfac- 
tion ; and had the Sovereign and subject advanced side 
by side in intelligence and piety, the house of Stuart 
would have become as dear to the nation as is the 
house of Brunswick at this day. But within the entire 
annals of profligacy, there is not a darker page than 
that which pourtrays the excesses of Charles n. and 
his abandoned courtiers. It is the honour of this 
kingdom that these palace immoralities were regarded 
with grief and alarm ; and when it was whispered that 
the King, though professedly a Protestant, was holding 
secret communion with the Church of Rome, the alarm 
heightened into indignation. There was no great hope 
as to his successor ; for the Duke of York made no 
secret of his attachment to Popery ; and yet the 
thought was indulged that he would certainly profit 
by the past, and deal more honestly, and live more 



decently, than his predecessor. At all events, the 
problem was now to be solved, as to whether the 
family of the Stuarts should continue to govern the 
rising little Country of the sea. James n. chose to 
tread in his brother's steps. The consequence was, 
that he was ignominiously ejected, and Providence 
gave to us the blessing of a bloodless Eevolution. 

James n. was always making promises, and always 
breaking them. The consequence was, that the people 
withdrew their confidence, and at length left him to 
his fate. But this conduct was not so much the result 
of weakness as of wickedness. His promises were 
broken, not because he was unable to keep them, but 
because he never intended to keep them. Notwith- 
standing his protestations to the contrary, he had 
formed the secret resolution to bring England again 
under the yoke of Eome. Even if there were no 
documentary evidence of this, you can account for his 
proceedings only on such a supposition. But the 
written evidence is abundant. 

On the day of proclamation, he solemnly promised 
in the Privy Council Chamber to maintain and uphold 
the Protestant Religion. At the Coronation, the old 
oath was taken, and the promise repeated. When the 
Parliament assembled, he began his speech by using 
the words uttered to the Council ; and gave, as a reason 
for the repetition, that they might look upon the 
promise not as given by chance, but formally and 
solemnly. So that within three months he took as 
many opportunities to set publicly before the nation 
his pretensions. But what were his purposes? His 
most intimate Minister was commissioned to tell the 


French Ambassador in private, that he had nothing so 
much at heart as the establishment of the Catholic 
religion. He told this Ambassador, himself, that this 
was his object ; and that if the King of France would 
assist him, he should sueceed. A Jesuit Father says, 
that on one occasion he was admitted into the King's 
closet, and that to him the royal secret was committed. 
And when certain of the Popish nobility feared that 
he was going too far and fast, he rebuked them for 
their interference, and said, that as he was growing 
old, it was needful to take " large steps." 

Let us now see how the King pursued his purpose. 
On the second Sabbath of his reign he went with great 
pomp to the celebration of the Mass, though directly 
contrary to law. It is said that the Duke of Norfolk, 
who bore before his Majesty the sword of state, would 
not venture beyond the threshold of the Queen's Chapel. 
The King angrily accosted him : " My lord, your Father 
would have gone further." The Duke sharply retorted, 
" Your Majesty's Father would not have gone so far." 

James made an early effort to repeal the Habeas 
Corpus Act. He attempted the establishment of a 
large standing army, so that there might be a constant 
menace before the Country, if any obstacles were placed 
on the designs of the Court He first requested the 
Parliament to abolish the Test Act ; and on its refusal, 
he set it at nought. Officers were appointed in the 
army in defiance of law ; and the King boldly told the 
House of Commons that he should act without them. 
Two considerations had produced this rash resolve. 
The first was, that he had become a pensioner of France. 
Instead of throwing himself upon the resources of a 


generous people, he meanly entered into this Conti- 
nental alliance ; and for the paltry sum of two millions 
of money he sold himself, and basely endeavoured to 
sell his Country, with its civil and religious liberties, 
to a foreign power. He hoped by this means to be- 
come independent of parliamentary supply. 

In the second place, he was flushed with success. 
The two great rebellions had been quelled. Argyle's 
failure was followed by his execution. Monmouth 
had been beheaded. Jeffries and Kirke had traversed 
the Bloody Circuit, and judicially murdered many 
hundreds of their countrymen. The reign of terror 
was inaugurated, and the downfall of the country 
had begun. 

The King now boldly claimed the dispensing power 
— i.e. the power to abrogate laws without the authority 
of Parliament. He required the Judges to support 
him, and cashiered all who would not yield. He did 
the same with the Privy Council, with the lord 
lieutenants, the deputy lieutenants, and even the 
magistrates. He set himself most resolutely to corrupt 
the army, and declared that he would raise all Fever- 
sham's troopers to the peerage rather than fail in his 
purpose. Popish priests were seen flaunting in their 
robes on their proselyting mission ; though for the 
most part they met with but indifferent success. The 
Lord Chamberlain, the Earl of Mulgrave, who in early 
life was inclined to Atheism, but afterwards em- 
braced Christianity, was politely requested to change 
his religion. Several priests were sent to argue 
the question with him. The topic selected for discus- 
sion was Transubstantiation. He listened to their 


eloquence, and then said, " I have taken great pains 
to convince myself that there is a God, and that He 
made man ; but I cannot believe that man can make 
God." That same Colonel Kirke, who had ruthlessly 
butchered the poor people at Taunton, met the King's 
demand by sarcastically saying that he was previously 
engaged, and had promised the Emperor of Morocco 
that, if ever he changed his religion, he would turn 
Mahometan. Even Jeffries refused to become a 
Papist, and the Princess Anne remained firm to Protes- 

But the greatest difficulty was found in the clergy. 
A few of these had yielded to temptation ; and, as the 
reward of their apostasy, had been promoted by the 
King. Still the immense majority, both on the Bench 
and in the pulpit, were true to their ordination vows. 
The brightest luminaries that ever shone in the Church 
of England were shining then. They preached boldly 
against the practices of the Court ; and James, resolv- 
ing to put a stop to it, founded the Ecclesiastical Com- 
mission. The Bishop of London was at once brought 
before it, and suspended from his office. The Vice- 
Chaucellor of Cambridge was summoned and deposed, 
because he refused to admit a Benedictine monk as a 
member of the University, who on the King's authority 
demanded admission without the usual tests. The 
case of Oxford was even more serious. The President of 
Magdalene College died. A royal letter was sent requir- 
ing the Fellows to elect a man who was a rabid Papist 
and notoriously immoral. They refused, and elected 
Dr. Hough, a most worthy person. The Commission 
threatened, but the College remained firm. The con- 


sequence was that the newly-appointed President and 
seventy-five Fellows were ejected from their places, 
and Soman Catholics were inducted. 

We may break from the narrative for a moment, to 
say that this Dr. Hough deserves to live in the memory 
of posterity. He stood forth in one of those moments 
when great destinies are in the balance, and thus 
rendered immortal service to the Protestantism of our 
Country. He was educated in that College over which, 
in these trying circumstances, he was called to preside. 
At the Eestoration, he was appointed to the office ; 
afterwards was made Bishop of Oxford, then of Lichfield, 
and finally of Worcester. He is described as " pious, 
serene, meek, and patient, virtuous qualities that 
ensure firmness of character. His path to the grave 
was gently sloped and protracted. Extreme old age 
Mid not affect him with the petulance which is its 
frequent accompaniment. A few weeks before his 
death, a young clergyman awkwardly threw down the 
Bishop's favourite barometer. The offender was con- 
founded with surprise and regret ; but he was pre- 
vented from apologizing by the Bishop approaching 
him with his usual complacency, saying, ' Sir, do not 
be uneasy. I have observed this glass almost daily for 
upwards of seventy years, and never saw it so low 

The disagreement between the King and people was 
now ripening fast. All the old feeling against Popery 
was revived, and, if possible, increased. There was a 
general conviction of James's insincerity and real 
designs; and the controversy waxed hotter. It was 
not only carried on by the serious divine, but the 


satirist and the lampooner entered warmly into it. 
Purgatory was a favourite topic among these lively 
polemics. Many verses were thrown off and circulated 
through the country. Here is a sample : — 

" When the Almighty had his palace framed, 
That glorious shining place he Heaven named, 
And when the first rebellious angels fell, 
He damn'd them to a certain place called Hell. 
There's Heaven and Hell confirmed in sacred story ; 
Yet never do we read of purgatory. 
This place of late years Popish priests have found 
For sinning souls to rest in till they're sound. 
Rome! we'll own you for a learned nation, 
To add a place, wanting in God's creation." 

The Monarch was chafed by this opposition. He 
resolved to change his ground, and to secure his 
purpose by what he considered a grand stroke of 
diplomacy. He published on April 4th, 1687, the 
memorable Declaration of Indulgence, in which, on his 
sole authority, he abrogated all penal laws, cancelled all 
religious tests, and claimed to manage at his uncontrol- 
lable pleasure the ecclesiastical affairs of the empire. 
He broke openly with the Church, and made overtures 
to the leading Dissenters. 

But King James did not know the men with whom 
he had to deal. 'Tis true, these Nonconformists had 
been cruelly treated. All had been hated, many 
persecuted, multitudes imprisoned, and some martyred. 
The Court thought they would hail the Declaration. 
The immortal Baxter, the gigantic-minded Home, the 
noble Bates, and the brave Bedford tinker, — all had 
been malignantly pursued; but they saw that the 
Declaration was worthless ; for it was both illegal and 


__• — 

insincere. They refused to join in any address of 
thanksgiving, and became heartily united with the 
Church of England against the common foe. 

Thus the opposition to the King became far more 
formidable; and, with that utter recklessness which 
characterized his reign, he rushed on to ruin. Under 
a mad infatuation, he issued a Second Declaration of 
Indulgence, on the 27th April, 1688. He bitterly 
lamented the inefficacy of the former one; but as angrily 
declared that his purposes were unchanged, and that he 
was determined to make everything bend to his royal 
will. He then proceeded another step, and published 
the following Order to the Bishops and clergy on the 
4th of May : — 

" At the Court at Whitehall : It is this day ordered 
by his Majesty in Council, that his Majesty's late 
Gracious Declaration, bearing date the 27th of April 
last, be read at the usual time of divine service, on 
the 20th and 27th of this month, in all the Churches 
and Chapels within the Cities of London and West- 
minster, and ten miles thereabout ; and upon the 3rd and 
10 th of June next, in all other Churches and Chapels 
throughout the kingdom: And it is hereby further 
ordered, that the Eight Eeverend the Bishops cause 
the said Declaration to be sent and distributed through- 
out their several and respective dioceses, to be read 

The course of the narrative here introduces us to 
the seven nolle men, in whose Trial the Protestant 
World was interested, and the benefits of which all 
civilised nations have so largely shared. Concerning 
some of them little only is known. But with reference 


to that great event at which we are about to look, 
their names and deeds will never die. Let us just 
glance at the biographies. 

William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, was 
born* on 30th January, 1617, at Freshingfield, Suffolk. 
His early education was received at Bury St. Edmunds, 
where he gave many indications of future eminence. 
When eighteen years of age he entered Emmanuel 
College, Cambridge; his uncle, Dr. William Sancroft, 
being Master of the College. 

After taking his degrees, he continued at Cambridge, 
and obtained a Fellowship ; from which, because he 
refused to take the oaths of the Covenant and the 
Engagement, he was ejected in 1651. 

With most of the University Graduates, he espoused 
the Eoyal side, and published two or three popular 
tracts against the Commonwealth. Being obliged to 
leave the Country, he resided for some time in Holland ; 
afterwards travelled through the South of Europe ; and 
returned to England at the time of the Restoration. 

He was soon required to take a prominent part in 
public affairs. With the Bishop of Winchester, he 
made an effort to recover the Duke of York, before 
he became King, from the errors of Popery ; but the 
result was as might have been expected. He attended 
Charles n. in his death-chamber; but his exhortations 
were unheeded, and he was supplanted by a Popish 
priest, who was privately brought to the bedside, and 
administered to the dying monarch the last offices of 

The Archbishop officiated at James' coronation. He 
has been censured for this ; because he knew that the 



King would not receive the sacrament at the hands 
of a Protestant minister. James soon gave him to 
understand that if he intended to live in royal favour, 
he must not be troubled with great scrupulosity of 
conscience. When the Ecclesiastical Commission was 
appointed, he was made a member, but refused to sit 
on it ; and, in a petition to his Majesty, begged to be 
excused on account of age and growing infirmity. 
The real reason, however, was that the Commission 
was illegal; and it would have been better had he so 
told the King. 

It was confidently expected that the Archbishop 
himself would have been cited before the Commission 
for refusing to attend it ; but the King's anger was 
appeased by forbidding him henceforth to appear at 
Court. He would not support the royal claims in the 
^Charterhouse appointment. And when the Declaration 
of Indulgence was issued, and the order to read was 
sent to himself and the Bishops, he boldly stepped 
forward, and bore the brunt of the battle; and by 
this act entitled himself to the respect and honour 
of future generations. 

Thomas Kenn, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was 
another of the seven. He received his early training 
at the famous school of Winchester, and in 1669 
was made Prebend of that Cathedral. His piety 
was of a high order, as may be gathered from his 
devotional works. It has been said of his three 
hymns — Morning, Evening, and Midnight — that had 
he endowed three hospitals, he might have been less 
a benefactor to posterity. But his courage was also 
remarkable. When Charles 11., with his Court, came 


to Winchester, accompanied by his mistress, the 
notorious Nell Gwynn, application was made to Kenn 
to admit her into his house ; but he stoutly refused it. 
The King, however, instead of resenting his conduct, 
applauded his courage, and despatched him to Bath 
and Wells as Bishop. 

In the beginning of James' reign, Kenn was zealous 
against Popery, and for pure religion ; so that he is 
most appropriately found among the heroes of 1688. 

Sir John Trelavmey, Bishop of Bristol, was another. 
He was by birth a Cornishman, and became the head 
of one of the first houses in that remarkable County. 
He is described as a man of great ability, " of polite 
manner, competent learning, and uncommon knowledge 
of the world." His very name in Cornwall was a 
charm ; and the idea of their own Trelawney being in 
prison, because of his attachment to Protestantism, was 
what they could not understand, and would not endure. 
The ballad, which was widely and quickly circulated, 
shows how much esteemed was the Bishop by his 
countrymen, and what were their views of Courtly 
proceedings : — 

"A good sword and a trusty hand, 
A merry heart and true ; 
King James's men shall understand 
What Cornish men can do. 

"And have they fixed the where and when ? 
And shall Trelawney die ? 
Then twenty thousand Cornish men 
Will know the reason why ! 

"Out spake the Captain, brave and bold, 
A merry wight was he, 
Though London Tower were Michael's Hold, 
We'd see Trelawney free ! 


"We'll cross the Tamer, land to land, 
The Severn is no stay ; 
And side by side, and hand in hand, 
And who shall bid us nay ? 

"And when we come to London Wall, 
A pleasant sight to view ; 
' Come forth ! come forth ! ye cowards all : 
Here are better men than you. ' 

' ' Trelawney he's in Keep and Hold ; 
Trelawney he may die, — 
But twenty thousand Cornish bold 
Will know the reason why ! " 

The other men who underwent this memorable trial 
were Lloyd, Bishop of St. Asaph ; Turner, Bishop of 
Ely, "the early and intimate friend of Kenn;" Lake,, 
of Chichester, and White,, of Peterborough ; of whom it 
is not needful to say more than that their highest 
honour, next to the possession of God's favour, is that 
by their withstanding the encroachments of Popery, 
they live in the heart of a Protestant nation to this 
day — " their " very " memory is blessed." 

We now come to the facts immediately connected 
with the Trial. The order to read the Declaration was 
issued on the 4th May. The paper was to be read in 
the City Churches on the 20th and 27th ; so that there 
were only fifteen days for deliberation and decision. 
With all the locomotive facilities we possess, such a 
space of time would be regarded as small for such a 
work. It seems to have been the design of the Court 
to prevent consultation. It was thought that resist- 
ance, to be effectual, must be general. So that the 
Archbishop undertook no easy task, when he resolved 
to get up an opposition. But he entered upon it with 


courage, prosecuted it with vigour, and completed it 
with success. He addressed a letter to those Bishops 
in whose opinions and judgment he confided, urging 
them to come to London. 

On the 12 th, a meeting was convened at Lambeth 
Palace, of those Bishops who had come to town, and a 
few clergy and laymen. The question was discussed, 
and the general opinion was that the Declaration ought 
not to be read; but the meeting was adjourned to the 
18 th, in hope that several other Prelates would by 
that time arrive. 

During the week an influential meeting of the 
London clergy was held to consider the subject. A 
feeble compromise was proposed ; but just at this 
juncture a letter was read to the meeting from the 
leading ministers and laymen of the London Non- 
conformists, beseeching the clergy not to judge them 
by a handful of their number who had yielded to the 
Court, but " to be assured that, instead of being alienated 
from the Church, they would be drawn closer to her, 
by her making a stand for religion and liberty." 

Then stood up a noble man, a City Incumbent, and 
said, in allusion to their debates : " I must be plain. 
There has been argument enough. More will only 
heat us. Let every man now say yea or nay. I shall 
be sorry to give occasion to a schism, but I cannot in 
conscience read the Declaration, for that would be 
an exhortation to my people to obey commands which 
I deem unlawful." These words came with electric 
fire upon the meeting. The leading men present de- 
clared themselves to be of the same mind, and then 
the minority said : "Bather than divide the Church, 


we won't read it either." A memorandum to this 
effect was at once drawn up, and signed by the mem- 
bers of the meeting, and afterwards by eighty-five 
Incumbents of London. 

This decision was exceedingly grateful to the Arch- 
bishop, and he invited these clergy to join the Bishops 
at the adjourned meeting. 

On the 18 th the enlarged meeting assembled again, 
under the Archbishop's presidency. Prayers were read. 
A long and serious discussion followed. 

The conclusion to which the meeting came was that 
a Petition should at once be prepared, signed by the 
Bishops present, and conveyed immediately to the 
King, asking to be relieved from the Order in Council. 

" Your petitioners, therefore, most humbly beseech 
your Majesty that you will be graciously pleased not 
to insist upon their distributing and reading your 
Majesty's said Declaration. 

"And your petitioners shall ever pray." The 
names of the seven dignitaries were attached. 

There was no time to be lost. It was now late in 
the afternoon of Friday. Saturday, the King would be 
out hunting, and the next morning was the, Sabbath. 
As the Archbishop had been forbidden the Court, he 
remained at Lambeth ; but the six Bishops went at 
once to Whitehall. Five of them called at Lord 
Dartmouth's, while Asaph arranged with the President 
of the Council, Sunderland, as to the interview. 

Cartwright, the Popish Bishop of Chester, having 
been wrongly informed, told the King that, with a few 
unimportant alterations, the Bishops would obey the 
Order. They were, therefore, at once admitted to the 


voyal closet. James accepted the petition graciously, 
saying, " This is my Lord of Canterbury's own hand." 
But soon a change came over him. Observing the 
character of the petition, he folded it up in deep 
mortification, and said : " This is a great surprise to 
me ; here are strange words. I did not expect this 
from you. This is a standard of rebellion." 

Some of the Prelates replied, "that they had ventured 
their lives for his Majesty, and would lose the last 
drop of their blood rather than lift up a finger against 

The King repeated, " I tell you this is a standard of 
rebellion ; I never saw such an address." 

The Bishop of Bristol, falling on his knees, said: 
" Rebellion ! Sir, I beseech your Majesty, do not say so 
hard a thing of us. For God's sake, do not believe we 
are or can be guilty of a rebellion. It is impossible 
that I or any of my family should be so. Your 
Majesty cannot but remember that you sent me down 
into Cornwall to quell Monmouth's rebellion ; and I 
am as ready to do what I can to quell another, if there 
be occasion." 

Bishop of Peterborough : " You allow liberty of con- 
science to all ; the reading this Declaration is against 
our conscience." 

The King then said : " I will keep this paper. It is 
the strangest address I ever saw ; it tends to rebellion. 
J><> you question my dispensing power?" 

Peterborough replied : " Sir, what we say of the dis- 
pensing power refers only to what was declared in 

Again the King insisted upon the tendency of the 


petition to rebellion, when the Bishop of Bath and 
Wells said courageously : " We are bound to fear God 
and honour the King. We desire to do both ; we will 
honour you ; we must fear God." 

The Archbishop had been specially careful that the 
petition should not be made public. He would not 
allow even his clerk to see it, but wrote it himself. 
And yet, before the next morning, it was printed, and 
circulated by thousands. The general belief was, that 
some Jesuit about Court had published it, for a purpose 
which will hereafter appear. 

Several of the Bishops, who could not get to London 
before its presentation, afterwards signed the petition. 
Out of the twenty-two members of the Bench, eighteen 
approved it. A powerful letter, which was said to be 
the composition of Halifax, was printed and stealthily 
'sent to every clergyman in the kingdom. " If we read 
the Declaration," said the little broadside, " we fall to 
rise no more ; we fall unpitied and despised ; we fall 
amid the curses of a nation, whom our compliance will 
have ruined." 

The Sabbath came which was to try the temper of the 
London clergy. There were about a hundred Churches 
in the City. Some accounts say that the Declaration 
was read in four ; none, more than seven. In one of 
these, the congregation rose when the reading began, 
and left the place in disgust. In another, the choristers 
and scholars only heard it. One clergyman told his 
congregation, that though he might be obliged to read 
it, they were not obliged to hear it. He waited till 
all had gone, and then announced it to the walls and 
benches. Even in the Eoyal Chapel, a chorister was 


deputed to read it. Some of the clergy were not 
content with not reading it; they preached boldly 
against it. And I hope that you will hear the state- 
ment with as much satisfaction as I announce it, that 
Samuel Wesley, the honest and high-minded father of 
John and Charles, was among the number. Instead 
of obeying the order of the King, he stood up and 
preached from these words : " Be it known unto thee, 
king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship 
the golden image which thou hast set up." 

The following are the son's lines on the stern refusal 
of his noble-minded sire to read the Declaration : — 

" When zealous James, unhappy, sought the way 
To establish Rome by arbitrary sway ; 
In vain were bribes showered by the guilty Crown : 
He sought no favour as he feared no frown. 
Secure in faith, exempt from worldly views, 
He dared the Declaration to refuse : 
Then from the sacred pulpit boldly showed 
The dauntless Hebrews, true to Israel's God, 
Who spake, regardless of their king's commands, 
' The God we serve can save us from thy hands ; 
If not, monarch, know, we choose to die ; 
Thy gods alike and threatenings we defy : 
No power on earth our faith has e'er controlled ; 
We scorn to worship idols, though of gold.' 
Resistless truth damped all the audience round, 
The base informer sickened at the sound : 
Attentive courtiers, conscious, stood amazed 
And soldiers, silent, trembled as they gazed. 
No smallest murmur of distaste arose, 
Abash'd and vanquish'd seemed the Church's foes. 
So, when like zeal their bosoms did inspire, 
The Jewish martyrs walked unhurt in tire." 

The Court was now placed in difficulty. The feeling 
both of the Church and the Country had been unmis° 




takably manifested ; and yet to take no further step 
would be a sad confession of weakness. After nine 
days' deliberation it was resolved by the King in 
Council to prosecute the Bishops for libel upon his 
Majesty in presenting the petition. There is difficulty 
in ascertaining fully to whom belongs the blame of this 
decision ; but whether the Council urged the prosecu- 
tion or not, the responsibility of it is with the King. 

On the evening of the second Sabbath, May 27th, 
the Archbishop was served with a summons to attend 
the Privy Council. 

This document was addressed to Sir John Taylor, 
one of the King's messengers. The six Bishops were 
similarly treated ; and on the appointed day, having 
meanwhile taken the best legal advice, all entered the 
Council Chamber as (hilprits. His Majesty professed 
to receive them graciously. " The Lord Chancellor 
took a paper then lying on the table, and showing it 
to the Archbishop, asked him in words to this effect : 

" 'Is this the petition that was written and signed by 
your Grace, and which these Bishops presented to his 
Majesty ? ' 

" The Archbishop received the paper from the Lord 
Chancellor, and addressing himself to the King, spake 
thus : 

" ' Sir, I am called hither as a criminal, which I 
never was before in my life, and little thought I ever 
should be, especially before your Majesty ; but, since 
it is my unhappiness to be so, I hope your Majesty 
will not be offended that I am cautious of answering 
questions. No man is obliged to answer questions that 
may tend to the accusing of himself.' " 


The King said this was chicanery, and he hoped the 
Archbishop did not mean to deny his own hand. 

The aged Prelate again urged that the question 
could be only designed to find ground for accusation, 
and begged to be excused answering it. Asaph said, 
with the coolness of an experienced casuist : " All 
divines are agreed in this, that no man in our circum- 
stances is obliged to answer any such question." The 
King grew very impatient, and Canterbury then said : 
" Sir, though we are not obliged to give any answer 
to this question ; yet, if your Majesty lays your com- 
mands upon us, we shall answer it, in trust, upon your 
Majesty's justice and generosity, that we shall not 
suffer for our obedience, as we must, if our answer 
should be brought in evidence against us." To this 
James petulantly replied : " No, I will not command 
you ; if you will deny your own hands, I know not 
what to say to you." 

They were now ordered to withdraw. Again they 
were summoned, and similar questions were proposed, 
which were similarly answered. A second time they 
left the chamber, and on re-admission the Lord 
Chancellor said : " His Majesty has commanded me to 
require you to answer this question, whether these be 
your hands which are set to this petition?" The 
King also said: "I command you to answer this 
question." The Archbishop then took it, read it, and 
acknowledged it. So did the Bishops. 

Many questions were then put, which were answered 
very courteously, but guardedly. At length they were 
commanded to withdraw again. When called in 
Jeffries said to them : " It is his Majesty's pleasure to 


have you proceeded against for this petition ; but it 

shall be with all fairness, in Westminster Hall : there 

will be an information against you which you are to 

answer, and in order to that you are to enter into a 

recognisance." They had been specially prepared for 

this by legal opinion and warned against it. They 

were assured that, as peers, they were not obliged to 

enter into recognisances ; and, moreover, to do so 

might prejudice their cause. The Archbishop said that 

they would be quite ready to appear and answer 

whenever they were called, but that they objected to 

the proposal; and he pleaded a precedent in support 

of their decision. The King pretended that it was out 

of respect for their character that he wished them to 

enter into recognisance, and said : " I offer you this as 

& favour, and I would not have you refuse it." The 

Bishop of St. Asaph, who entertained different views 

of royal favour from his Majesty, replied: "Whatsoever 

favour your Majesty vouchsafes to offer to any person, 

you are pleased to leave it to him whether he will 

accept it or not ; and you do not expect he should 

accept it to his own prejudice. We conceive that 

this entering into recognisance may be prejudicial to 

us ; and we hope your Majesty will not be offended at 

our declining it." 

Again they left the Council, and a fourth time were 
called, when it was demanded whether they had altered 
their mind, and would now accept his Majesty's favour. 
The Archbishop said they were acting upon the best 
advice, and promising again to appear when required, 
he declined the overture. Once more they left the 
chamber, but not to return ; for about half an hour 


afterwards, a sergeant-at-arms came forth with a 
warrant signed by fourteen members of the Privy 
Council, committing them to the Tower, and with 
another warrant to the Lieutenant of the Tower to keep 
them in safe custody. 

The population was alive to what was going on. 
It was known through the city that the seven were 
summoned to the palace. Few really believed that 
the King would proceed to imprisonment, though some 
feared ; and during the evening the streets were 
thronged with an excited people. It was now 
whispered that they were in custody. Preparations 
were then seen for their conveyance to the Tower; 
and when they were led forth, the excitement was 
intense. Hume, the historian, says that " the people 
were already aware of the danger to which the Prelates 
were exposed, and were raised to the highest pitch of 
anxiety and attention, with regard to the issue of this 
extraordinary affair. But when they beheld these 
Fathers of the Church brought from Court under the 
custody of a guard ; when they saw them embarked in 

vessels on the river and conveyed towards the Tower, 

all their affections for liberty, all their zeal for religion 
blazed up at once, and they flew to behold this affect- 
ing spectacle. The whole shore was covered with 
crowds of prostrate spectators, who at once implored 
the blessing of these holy pastors, and addressed their 
petitions towards Heaven for protection during the 
extreme danger to which their Country and "their 
religion stood exposed. Even the soldiers, seized with 
the contagion of the same spirit, flung themselves on 
their knees before the distressed Prelates, and craved 


the benediction of these criminals whom they were 
appointed to guard. Some persons ran into the water, 
that they might participate more nearly in those 
blessings which the Prelates were distributing on all 
around them. The Bishops themselves, during this 
triumphant suffering, augmented the general favour by 
the most lowly, submissive deportment ; and they still 
exhorted the people to fear God, honour the King, and 
maintain their loyalty — expressions more animating 
than the most inflammator} r speeches. And no sooner 
had they entered the precincts of the Tower, than they 
hurried to Chapel, in order to return thanks for those 
afflictions which Heaven, in defence of its holy cause, 
had thought them worthy to endure." 

It was remarked that the second lesson that evening 
was 2 Cor. vi. And as the Chaplain read, " But in 
all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, 
in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in dis- 
tresses, in stripes, in imprisonments," etc., its appropri- 
ateness was felt, and the noble prisoners found it a 
source of comfort. 

During the following days, they were the objects 
of much affection. The nobility, gentry, and popula- 
tion vied with each other in acts of kindness. A 
deputation of Nonconformist ministers came to offer 
their sympathy, which so greatly provoked the King 
that he sent for four of them, and gave them a 
severe reprimand. But they nobly answered that 
" they thought it their duty to forget past quarrels, 
and to stand by those who stood by the Protestant 

On Friday, 15 th June, the Seven were brought from 


the Tower to the King's Bench. On coming into 
Court, the Bishops were accommodated with seats. 
The Attorney-General at once moved that the informa- 
tion be read. The Counsel for the accused took several 
objections, which were overruled. 

Another attempt was then made to delay the pro- 
ceedings on behalf of the Bishops ; but the Counsel for 
the Crown and the Judges would not yield. The Chief 
Justice, however, said : " We have taken all the care 
we can to be satisfied of this matter, and we will take 
care that my lords the Bishops shall have all justice 
done them. Nay ; they shall have all the favour, by 
my consent, that can be shown them without doing 
wrong to my master the King; but truly I cannot 
depart from the course of the Court in this matter, if 
the King's Counsel press it." 

The Prelates then pleaded Not Guilty ; and the Trial 
was fixed for that day fortnight. At first the law 
officers spoke of large bail, but they willingly yielded 
to a small sum ; for it turned out that nearly thirty 
peers were there, ready to give bail to any amount, 
and a rich merchant of the city — a Dissenter— sent 
word that he should esteem it an honour to become 
surety for one of them. 

As they retired from the Court, the most boisterous 
acclamations arose. Many who understood not the 
matter supposed that as they were now out of custody 
they were acquittal. While the people shouted, the 
Mis rang, bonfires were kindled, and multitudes came 
for another blcssin" 

Fourteen days of anxious waiting preceded the day 
of IriaL A red-letter day in England's history is 


Friday, 29th June, 1688. Westminster Hall had 
witnessed many an important gathering before, and has 
seen many an excited audience since. But never was 
a Trial conducted within its magnificent walls of 
deeper interest, and having more momentous issues. 
To say that the Hall was crowded, is saying little. To 
pronounce that audience excited, is very tameness. Every 
seat, every aisle, every avenue was occupied by human 
beings ; who for ten long hours were alternately held 
in breathless suspense, and relieved by loudest bursts 
of pent-up, struggling feeling. Nearly forty peers of 
the realm were there to testify their regard for the 
accused ; and all the Judges of the Court were on the 
Bench. In the centre chair sat the Chief Justice 
Wright, of whom it is sufficient to say that he was 
the protige" of Jeffries, and a man of notoriously un- 
scrupulous character; but, on this occasion, he was 
kept somewhat in check by the presence and scrutiny 
of so many peers. He appeared to sit uncomfortably 
in such company, and was said to look as if all around 
him "had halters in their pockets." On one side 
of the Chief was Allybone, a professed Papist, and 
therefore sat there in virtue of that dispensing power 
which James had unlawfully claimed. On the other 
side were Holloway and Powell, who behaved with 
moderation and fairness. 

Below the Bench, and at the Bar, sat the Counsel. 
For the Crown, there were Poivys, the Attorney-General, 
and Williams, the Solicitor, who had been Speaker in 
two successive Parliaments, and a violent Whig advo- 
cate, but now, for the sake of place and pelf, the zealous 
champion of the dispensing power. With these were 


the Becorder of London and Serjeant Trinder, a Roman 
Catholic. For the defence, there were Sawyer and 
Finch, who, when James ascended the throne, were 
Attorney and Solicitor Generals, but had been dismissed 
to make way for more pliant and worthless men. 
They were assisted by Pemlerton, who in the preceding 
reign had been Chief Justice of that very Court; 
Pollexfen, whose name is unhappily associated with 
" the Bloody Assize ;" Irvine, who had also been on the 
Bench ; Trdy, a quondam Recorder of the City ; and 
Somcrs, then a young and unknown Barrister. If the 
Trial may be decided by legal ability, there is no 
question that the Bishops will be acquitted ; for, with 
perhaps a single exception, the leading talent of the 
Bar is on their side. 

The King made a strenuous effort to get a jury to 
his mind. It is said that he summoned into the royal 
closet the clerk of the Crown, and ordered him to select 
such names as would secure a verdict against the 
Prelates. But the lawyers for the defence did their 
duty well. Many servants at the Palace were put on 
the register, but they were removed. After this sifting 
ot the list, the first twelve names were called, and, 
having been sworn, took their seats, with Sir Roger 
Langloy, an honourable Baronet, as Foreman. 

The information, including the Royal Declaration, 
was read. The crier made proclamation, after which' 
the Attorney-U aural arose and opened the case for the 

Alter his account of the law, and going over the 
facts of the case, the Attorney marked out the course 
he intended to pursue ; but said not a word on the 


King's claim to the dispensing power, where after all 
lay the gist of the whole matter. 

The publication of the two Declarations and the Order 
in Council was proved ; and then the Bishops' Petition 
— the libel — was brought into Court. The Attorney- 
General tried coaxingly to get the defendants to acknow- 
ledge their signatures ; but their Counsel objected, 
and resolved to throw their opponents on their own 
resources. Several witnesses were called to prove the 
handwriting ; but some failed altogether, others refused 
to answer, and others still contradicted themselves 
under cross-examination. The evidence was so meagre 
that the defence strenuously objected to the Petition 
being read ; and after a severe contest between the 
opposing Counsel, a clerk from the Privy Council office 
was sworn. They brought this man very reluctantly ; 
for it was known that under the cross-fire of lawyers 
he must make statements which the Attorney and 
Solicitor Generals wished to suppress. Still they were 
driven to it ; and having sworn that the Prelates 
acknowledged to the King their signatures in his pre- 
sence, he was subjected to one of the most searching 
cross-examinations which history records. With great 
unwillingness he confessed that though his Majesty 
had made no express promise to the Bishops that their 
acknowledgments should not be used to their prejudice, 
they did make it with this understanding. 

But though the writing was thus proved, and the 
Petition was allowed to be read, another technical objec- 
tion was raised, viz. that the indictment charged them 
with writing it in Middlesex, but it was well known to 
have been written at Lambeth. The Solicitor-General 


fought extremely hard, but to no purpose, and the 
ground had to be changed. The issue was now made 
to rest on the publication in Middlesex. But here the 
prosecution failed, for no one saw the Bishops give the 
Petition to the King. Presumptive evidence was urged, 
but even the Chief Justice said : " I can presume 
nothing. I will ask my brothers their opinion, 

but I must deal truly with you. I think it is not 
evidence against my lords the Bishops." Mr. Justice 
Holloway said : " Truly I think you have failed in your 
information ; you have not proved anything in 

the county of Middlesex , and the jury must find 

them not guilty." Powell agreed with the other Judges. 
The Attorney-General petulantly asked : " But shall a 
man be permitted thus to affront the King, and there 
be no way to punish it?" To which the Chief Justice 
manfully replied : " Yes ; but it will be a very 

strange thing if we should go and presume that these 
lords did it, when there is no sort of evidence of 

The Clerk of the Council was recalled, and leading 
questions were put to him ; but he was obliged to say 
that the defendants had not in his hearing acknow- 
ledged the delivery of the paper to the King. The 
people were delighted, and deafening applause rang 
through the hall of Westminster. Another witness 
was brought. The Solicitor-General examined him so 
improperly that the Judges publicly reproved him. 
The Counsel for the defence fell now so unmercifully 
upon the Solicitor, that the Chief Justice said : " Pray, 
brothers, be quiet, or I'll turn him loose upon you 
again." Another clerk was called, but with no more 


success ; and another immense shout greeted the re- 
peated failure. A last effort was put forth ; and the 
Solicitor maintained, that though no positive proof could 
be given of publication, there was quite sufficient pre- 
sumptive evidence to go to the jury. But the Judges 
thought differently. At this moment the face of the 
overwhelming assembly was radiant with hope. It 
seemed impossible to have a conviction. The Chief 
Justice began to direct the jury to acquit, when a 
circumstance occurred which at the moment seemed 
most calamitous. Finch, more zealous than discreet, 
interrupted his lordship, and said he had more evidence 
to offer in favour of the Bishops. The Judge stopped. 
The lawyers glared upon Finch with anger, and every 
Protestant in the place was filled with vexation. The 
Judge was exhorted to proceed. Finch himself begged 
that his interruption might be overlooked. But during 
this altercation, a message had been sent to Sunderland, 
the President of the Council; and when the Chief 
Justice resumed his charge, the Solicitor-General arose, 
and said he had that moment heard, that a person of 
great quality would be speedily in Court, who could 
give satisfactory evidence of the publication of the 
libel. The Judge resolved to wait. An ominous 
pause occurred for more than half an hour, and 
thousands of faces were elongated to an extraordinary 
degree. The Counsel for the defence begged his lord- 
ship to go on, but he stoutly refused ; and another 
half-hour passed in silence. Then the crier was sworn, 
and declared his belief that other witnesses were com- 
ing. Another pause, and then a general excitement ; 
for down the aisles of the hall there came a sedan chair, 


containing the President. He was an apostate from 
Protestantism, and most odious to the crowds who 
gazed upon him. He was insulted on every side. 
Pale and trembling, he gave his evidence. He was 
asked about the Bishops' application to him to procure 
their interview with the King. He stated the facts of 
the case, and said that though he did not see them 
deliver the Petition to the King, they told him as they 
were going into the royal closet that they had the 
Petition, and that their object in seeking the audience 
was to present it. 

And now the trial assumed a new phase altogether. 
The crowded assembly was deeply mortified at the time ; 
but we have no hesitation in saying that the cause of 
Protestant truth would have been immeasurably the 
loser, if a verdict of acquittal had been then given. 
Up to this moment, the defence had rested altogether 
upon technicalities, and had the Bishops been released, 
the verdict would have carried but little weight. But 
now came the question as to whether the dispensing 
power which the King claimed, and against which in 
fact the Bishops petitioned, was legal or illegal. Most 
boldly did the defence argue this matter, and stated the 
illegality of the claim so positively that the Chief 
Justice became alarmed. 

But Sir Robert Sawyer was determined to proceed ; 
and after citing that part of the Declaration which, with- 
out the authority of Parliament, annuls statutes and 
abolishes the tests, he said : " Now, my lord, this 
clause either is of legal effect and signification, or it is 
not. If the King's Counsel say it is of no effect in 
law . then this Petition does no ways impeach the 


King's prerogative. But if it have any effect in law, 

and these laws are suspended by virtue of this clause 
in the Declaration, then certainly it is of the most 
dismal consequence that can be thought of; and it 
behoved my lords, who are the Fathers of the Church, 
humbly to represent it to the King. For by this 
Declaration, and particularly by this clause in it, not 
only the laws of our Eeformation, but all the laws for 
the preservation of the Christian religion in general, 
are suspended and become of no force." 

Finch followed with an able speech on the same 
side ; Pemberton was eloquent ; Pollexfen and Irvine 
spoke well ; and after some parole evidence had been 
offered, the defence closed with an address from Somers, 
the then young and unknown Barrister. In few words 
he disposed of the whole case with inimitable simplicity 
^md power. " By the law of all civilised nations," he 
said, " if the Prince does require something to be done, 
which the person who is to do it takes to be unlawful, 
it is not only lawful, but his duty, rescribere principi ; 
that is all that is done here; and that in the most 
humble manner that can be thought of. They did not 
interpose by giving their advice as peers ; they never 
stirred till it was brought home to themselves; when 
they made their petition, all they begged was, that it 
might not be so far insisted upon by his Majesty as to 
oblige them to read it ; whatever they thought of it, 
they did not take upon them to desire the Declaration 
to be revoked. 

" My lord, as to the matters of fact alleged in the 
said Petition, that they are perfectly true, we have 
shown by the Journals of both Houses. There could 


be no design to diminish the prerogative, because the 
King hath no such prerogative. 

" Seditious, my lord, it could not be ; nor could it 
possibly stir up sedition in the minds of the people, 
because it was presented to the King, private and 
alone. False it could not be, because the matter 
of it is true. There could be nothing of malice, for 
the occasion was not sought, the thing was pressed 
upon them. And a libel it could not be ; because the 
intent was innocent, and they kept within the bounds 
set by the Act of Parliament, that gives the subject 
leave to apply to his Prince by petition when he is 

Then came the reply for the Crown. The Attorney- 
General spoke with excessive feebleness. The Solicitor 
startled the Court, and enraged the audience, by his 
effrontery. Justice Powell repeatedly objected to his 
doctrine, and the Chief Justice called him to order. An 
unseemly reference to the Exclusion Bill brought upon 
him the hisses of the crowd ; and when at length he 
boldly denied the right of petition, except by Parlia- 
ment, he could be endured no longer. One loud burst 
of indignation forced him to resume his seat. 

The other Counsel followed, and the Chief Justice 
summed up the evidence. There was difference of 
opinion on the Bench. Powell repudiated the dispens- 
ing power, and pronounced the Petition not a libel. 
" Now, gentlemen," said he, " this is a dispensation 
with a witness. It amounts to an abrogation and utter 
repeal of all the laws ; for I can see no difference — nor 
know of none in law — between the King's power to 
dispense with laws ecclesiastical, and his power to 



dispense with any other law whatsoever. If this be 
once allowed of, there will need be no Parliament ; all 
the legislature will be in the Kins?, which is a thing 
worth considering, and I leave the issue to God and 
your consciences." 

Mr. Justice Holloway said the Petition was no libel. 
Allybone went all lengths with the King ; and the Chief 
Justice maintained that the Petition was libellous. 

With this difference of view, the issue was left with 
the jury. When they were about to retire, a circum- 
stance occurred which would greatly shock our modern 
proprieties, and fill an honest teetotaller with righteous 
indignation. The Chief Justice said, " Gentlemen of 
the Jury, have you a mind to drink before you go?" 
One of them was bold enough to say, " Yes, my lord, 
if you please." Wine was sent for; and after this 
defection, they retired for the night, to consider their 

That was a solemn night in London. Everybody 
seemed under a great oppression. Protestant and 
Papist felt that the decisive moment had arrived. 
The Pope's Ambassador wrote thus to his Master : " It 
is now late in the evening, and the decision is not 
yet known. The Judges and the culprits have gone 
to their own homes. The Jury remain together. 
To-morrow we shall learn the event of this great 
struggle." For some time after the Jury retired, 
there was disagreement among them, and loud alter- 
cation was heard during the night. The difficulty 
arose mainly with one Major Arnold, of Peter Street, 
Westminster. He sustained the lucrative office of 
Brewer to the palace. His position, he maintained, 


was a very awkward one, and was sure to ruin hiin. 
If he voted not against the Bishops, he would lose his 
Major's place, for the King would employ him no 
longer ; and if he voted not on the side of the Bishops, 
all his customers had declared he should brew no 
more for them. Balancing his difficulties, however, 
he clung to the palace, and the greater part of the 
night pleaded for a verdict of guilty. An able country 
gentleman was on the Jury, who wished to argue the 
matter with Arnold ; but he was deaf to argument. 
He said he could not reason ; but his conscience was 
not satisfied, and he meant to stand out. " Well, then," 
said the gentleman, " just look at me ; I am the largest 
and strongest of the twelve, and before I find such a 
Petition as this a libel, here I will stay till I am no 
bigger than a tobacco-p ipe." At six in the morning the 
Brewer yielded, and the Jury were unanimous. 

There is a curious letter, written just at the 
hour of agreement by the Archbishop's solicitor, reveal- 
ing some of the mysteries of those dark and venal 

It is dated 6 o'clock in the morning, 30 th 

June, 1688, at the Bell Tavern, King Street. 

" May it please your Grace, — We have watched the 
Jury all night carefully, attending without the door on 
the stair head. They have by order been kept all 
night without fire or candle, bread, drink, tobacco, or 
any other refreshments whatever, save only basins of 
water and towels this morning about four. 

"The officers and our own servants, and others 
hired by us to watch the officers, have and shall con- 



stantly attend, but must be supplied with fresh men 
to relieve our guards, if need be. 

" I am informed by my servant and Mr. Grange's 
that, about midnight, they were very loud one among 
another ; and the like happened about three this morn- 
ing, which makes me collect they are not yet agreed ; 
they beg for a candle to light their pipes, but are 

"In case a verdict pass for us (which God grant in 
His own best time) the present consideration will be, 
how the Jury shall be treated. The course is, usually, 
each man so many guineas, and a common dinner for 
them all. The quantum is at your Grace's and my 
Lords' direction. But it seems to my poor under- 
standing that the dinner might be spared, lest our 
watchful enemies interpret our entertainment of the 
Jury for public exultation and a seditious meeting ; 
and so it may be ordered thus : Each man (so many) 
guineas for his trouble ; and each man a guinea over 
for his own desire ; with my Lords' order, that I or 
some other entreat them, in your names, not to dine 
together, for the reasons aforesaid. I conceive my 
Lords the Bishops will resolve how to direct me on this 
point before they come into Court. There were twenty- 
two of the Jury appeared, and no more ; and they that 
did not serve will expect a reward as well as those 
who did. 

" I beg your Grace's pardon for this trouble ; it is 
only to enable my Lords to consult what is fit to do 
decently on our part, and all is submitted to your 
Grace's and my Lords' judgment by, my Lord, your 
Grace's most humble servant, " John Ince." 


" P.S. — Just now the officer brings me word they 
are all agreed, and are sending to my Lord Chief 
Justice to know where he pleases to take their ver- 
dict. There must be 150 or 200 guineas provided." 

An account of the expenses incurred by the Seven 
Bishops during the trial has been preserved. In 
addition to all the costs which the prosecution hrxl to 
discharge, the defendants were charged £558, which, 
at the rate of 6 per cent, upon their respective incomes, 
was divided among them. Some of the items of cost 
are curious. To Mr. Pollexfen, to second a motion, 
£3, 4s. 6d. Now if every man who seconds a motion 
was to be paid at this rate, we should soon have 
fewer resolutions at our public meetings. To the 
criers for their pains, 40s. There is generally sup- 
posed to be pain in connection with crying, but we 
don't often hear of such a pains tariff as this. To Sir 
Samuel Asty for striking the Jury, £2, 3s. Here again 
one would have supposed that juries were ordinarily 
empanelled to try strikers for assault and battery ; 
but in this case a man gets a fee for striking the very 
safeguard of English liberty — the jury. To cost for 
chairs for the Bishops in Court, 20s. first day, and 
again on Saturday 40s. Why the chairs should 
have been charged double on Saturday, one cannot 

Nine o'clock was the hour fixed for the delivery of the 
verdict. The Bench was again filled with the nobility 
and gentry ; the area was crowded with an immense 
concourse ; and every street leading to the Hall was 
thronged by an excited people. The accused were 


there, and the Bar was crowded. The Jury were led 
into the box. Their names were called ; the pro- 
clamation for silence was made ; and the officer said : 
" Gentlemen, are you agreed on your verdict V They 
answered, "Yes." "Who shall say for you?" was 
demanded ; and the reply was, " Our Foreman." " Do 
you find the defendants, or any of them, guilty of the 
misdemeanour whereof they are impeached, or not 
guilty ?" The suspense of the Hall was breathless. 
The Foreman, with a good, loud, English, Protestant 
voice, said, "Not guilty." The effect of these two 
words is described by a living orator as more than 
electric. " ' Xot guilty,' said the Foreman ; and ' Not 
guilty,' shouted the dense crowd. ' Xot guilty,' re- 
verberated the roof, as if Westminster Hall had 
partaken of the joyful sound. ' Xot guilty ' issued 
<5ut of the windows. ' Xot guilty ' ran along the 
streets. Hats, caps, bonnets, were thrown into the 
air ; and as they arose they were followed by the 
sound of ' Xot guilty.' The ready bonfires and fire- 
works showed the tone of the public mind, and the 
state of expectation they were in for this anticipated 
triumph. They blazed, they burst, and the very 
rockets seemed to explode to the tune of ' Xot guilty.' 
Eye encountered eye, hand was grasped in hand. 
Men, women, and children ran, and shouted as they 
ran, ' Xot guilty.' The sound rolling across the City, 
reached the inhabitants of Whitechapel ; thence it 
reverberated to Kensington, and along the suburban 
road to Hounslow ; where, caught up by the troops 
there encamped under their royal Master, it sounded 
like a knell of death in the ear of the affrighted King. 


All England felt it. ' Not guilty :' our Protestant Church 
is safe! 'Not guilty:' our Popish King is beaten! 
'Not guilty:' our laws are preserved; our Constitution 
has escaped ; our noble Protestant defenders are ' Not 

The Prelates came forth from the Hall amid the 
benedictions of thousands, and the most extravagant 
manifestations of joy. As soon as they could free 
themselves from the crowd, they entered Whitehall 
Chapel, to join in the morning prayers. It was St. 
Peter's day ; so that the lesson recorded St. Peter's 
miraculous deliverance from prison. Many of the 
Churches became thronged with a thankful people. 
Dissenters vied with Churchmen in expressions of 
gladness. A fearful load of anxiety had been removed 
by the simple deliverance of the Jury. Protestantism 
had triumphed, and Old England was free. 

In the narrative which has been given, the pre- 
ceding facts are traced to, and associated with, this 
memorable Trial. The connection between the Trial of 
the Bishops and the great event which followed must 
not be forgotten. How close that connection really is, 
cannot be determined with exactness ; and every 
student will form his own conclusions. But that it 
hastened the English Revolution there can be no doubt. 

The evil genius which seemed to influence King 
James through his public life was not yet expelled. 
Any man, possessing common prudence, would have 
felt that the time had come for moderation and con- 
cession. The feeling of the Country was now raised to 
such a pitch that the only chance of safety was in 
conciliation ; but the monarch, exasperated by defeat, 


urged on his course, and plunged into irretrievable 
ruin. He then discovered that he had mounted a 
steed which he was unable to control. For some 
years, impelled by a mad superstition, he had given 
up the reins. Mettlesome and unchecked, it dashed 
along, heedless of obstacles, and trampling down the 
liberties of the nation. But now there was danger to 
the rider. He was unmoved as he rode rough-shod 
over a once loyal and devoted people. Their com- 
plaints rather infuriated than restrained him. But in 
the midst of his onslaught, he was suddenly alarmed 
by the sight of a precipice which was just before him. 
He seized the bridle ; but the curb was lost. He tried 
to pull the courser upon its haunches ; but on it sped. 
He made an effort to vault out of the saddle ; but 
the girth which had bound him would not give way. 
He cried lustily for help ; but found himself forsaken. 
With a shriek of fear and revenge, the last plunge was 
taken ; and the horse and his rider were thrown into 
the sea. 

In review of these facts of history, it behoves us 
to be grateful for the preservation of the Protestant 
Eeligion. It has sometimes been objected that it is 
unfair to make the Trial of the Seven Bishops a reli- 
gious question at all, — that Popery or no-Popery had 
nothing to do with it, — it was simply a political matter. 
We demur altogether to this. There is every reason- 
able probability that if these men had been convicted, 
the King would have carried his purpose, and England 
would have been thrown prostrate at the feet of Eome. 
But, thanks be to God, it was not so. The designs of 
darkness were defeated. An insincere and tyrant 


King was driven before the storm he himself had 
raised. William and Mary, of blessed memory, took 
peaceful possession of the throne ; the British Con- 
stitution was fixed upon a solid basis ; and our own 
Victoria — virtuous, condescending, powerful, and 
beloved — lives and reigns in the warmest heart of a 
loving people. 



THERE are two considerations which will render 
the Siege of Deny ever memorable in the 
history of the United Kingdom. One is found in the 
simple facts of the siege, irrespective of its relation 
either to the national struggle in which it was so 
remarkable an episode, or to the interests of posterity. 
* Never in the annals of warfare were the virtues of 
courage and endurance more conspicuous. Think of 
eight long months of attack, and most of them of 
famine ; of the tens of thousands of men, women, and 
children who had crowded as refugees into the City, 
but were able to render little or no help in the 
siege ; of the small handful of military men whose 
experience was of any service in the defence ; of the 
treachery of professed friends, and the malignity of 
avowed enemies ; of the large and constantly recruited 
forces of the besiegers, many of them disciplined to 
warfare, and commanded by men who were supposed to 
be the ablest generals of the age ; the sudden zeal of 
a few apprentice boys on the first approach of the foe ; 
the wild enthusiasm of the crowded population ; the 
pestilence and famine, in addition to the hundreds of 



cannon balls, that desolated the streets, and well-nigh 
decimated the inhabitants, — and yet of the spirit of 
martyrdom which animated that garrison ; the cry of 
" No Surrender " which daily sounded through Deny, 
and often made the very welkin ring ; and the final 
success which crowned the gallantry and sufferings 
of the besieged : it seems impossible to exaggerate, or 
even to do anything like justice to such an event. 

The second consideration which will render the 
"Siege of Deny" immortal, and has especially sug- 
gested it as the subject of a lecture, is the Protestant 
relationship which it bore to Ireland and England. It 
put an end to one of the greatest tyrannies which 
Britain ever knew, or the history of Christendom will 
ever record. The influence of the last of the ill- 
fated Stuarts had been growing " small by degrees, 
and beautifully less." His whole course of conduct, 
prompted by some Ahithophels, inspired at Rome, had 
alienated his people ; and at length he was compelled 
to abandon the throne and escape into France. But 
his Counsellors there were no better than those at 
home. He indulged the childish hope of regaining 
his position ; and Londonderry became the theatre on 
which the final arbitrament should take place. The 
Pope of Borne, as well as James, was defeated there. 
Religious, as well as civil, liberty was secured by that 
fearful struggle; and now, while we shudder at the 
price, we may glory in our inheritance. Looking, as 
Protestants, at the vast importance of the Siege of 
Deny, we are surprised that no first-class poet has 
attempted to do it justice. There are references to it 
in abundance. One or two diaries have been published. 


A few stirring ballads have been written, but nothing 
really equal to the occasion. Indeed, the most spirited 
lines to be found are simply an apology for poetic 
neglect : — 

" Derriana ! lovely dame, 

By many suitors courted ; 
Thy beauty rare, and deeds of fame, 
Have been but ill reported. 

' ' Seated in dignity serene, 
Beside a crystal fountain ; 
in radiant comeliness thou'rt seen, 
O'ershadowed by a mountain. 

" Round thee are groves and villas bright, 
And temples of devotion ; 
Fair fields for plenty and delight, 
And inlets of the ocean. 

' ' What was proud Troy compared to thee, 
Though Hector did command her ? 
How great thy Foyle would seem to be 
Near Homer's old Scamander ! 

" Like thee, two sieges sharp she stood, 
By timid friends forsaken ; 
But, unlike thee, twice drenched in blood 
She fainted and was taken. 

' ' What was her cause compared to thine ? 
A harlot she protected ; 
But thou for Liberty divine 
All compromise rejected. 

' ' But Troy a bard of brilliant mind 
Found out to sing her glory ; 
While thou canst only dunces find 
To mar thy greater story. " 

That fair City, whose deeds of daring and endurance 
we now celebrate, is " beautiful for situation." Stand- 


ing on a considerable slope, the spire of its Cathedral, 
which well-nigh crowns the eminence, points towards 
heaven ; while the rich waters of the Foyle never 
cease to wash its feet. In 1566, Deny passed into 
the hands of the English. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth 
despatched a large body of men to quell the dis- 
turbances excited by Eoe O'Donnell and others, who, 
falling upon Derry, had slaughtered the inhabitants, 
and sacked the City National assistance was given 
to rebuild it. The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Council 
of London undertook the work. James I., who had 
now succeeded Elizabeth, granted to them a Charter 
of incorporation, including not only the site of the old 
town, but six thousand English acres of the surrounding 
country. With considerable taste and architectural 
skill, the new place was planned and erected. Because 
of its just-named connection with the capital of the 
Empire, it was called Londonderry ; and because of its 
determined resistance to James' attempts upon the 
winsome young lady, either of wooing or violence, it 
was designated " the maiden city." 

For, " crushing all before him, 

A kingly wooer came : 
(The royal banner o'er him 

Blushed crimson deep for shame) ; 

" He showed the Pope's Commission, 
Nor dreamed to be refused ; 
She pitied his condition, 
But begged to stand excused. 

" In short, the fact is known, boys, 
She chased him from the hill, 
For the maiden on the throne, boys, 
Would be a maiden still. " 


Before we enter upon the facts of the siege, a brief 
review of the preceding history is necessary ; but the 
merest outline will suffice. 

According to the oldest annals which Ireland 
possesses, that Country was originally peopled by the 
Celts, who were the first colonists of Western Europe. 
It was in the fifth century that Christianity was intro- 
duced to the island ; which, for a while, was maintained 
in its purity and power ; but at length " the fine gold 
became dim." The simplicity and spirituality of the 
Christian religion were gone, and the very worst 
features that Popery in any country ever assumed 
were seen in Ireland. The English invasion took 
place in the reign of Henry n., from which time 
almost down to the (happy, and, I hope, lasting) 
union of the two islands, history presents a long, 
cruel, constant struggle. Henry vin. was the first 
English monarch who assumed the title of King of 
Ireland ; and Catherine Howard, the fifth spouse of 
that royal polygamist and wife-killer, was the first 
Queen Consort. Sir Henry Domera, Elizabeth's cele- 
brated officer, did much towards bringing the long- 
continued strife to an end. In 1608, the rebellion of 
Sir Cahir O'Dogherty hastened the crisis ; and " with 
his death the struggle of 436 years between the 
English and Irish closed — a struggle which, for the 
period of its duration, is unexampled in history." 

But now the work of colonization, especially in 
Ulster, was commenced in earnest. James I. offered 
many inducements to the English and Scotch to 
become settlers in Ireland ; and Derry was made- the 
centre of their operations. This introduced the Pro- 


testant element into the city, which afterwards became 
both its strength and glory. 

As the English and Protestant power increased in 
the Country, the native population, stimulated and 
even goaded by the priests of Kome, cherished the 
most deadly enmity and resolutions of revenge. 
Hence the fearful rebellion of 1641, when Ireland 
was reddened with the blood of nearly 200,000 
Protestants — one of the blackest deeds that Eome 
ever instigated, or human hands ever accomplished. 
Derry was the special object of attack ; but the resist- 
ance was determined, and not a single post was sur- 
rendered. In 1649, the city was again besieged ; but 
it held out resolutely for four months, when the 
garrison, reduced to the last extremity, was happily 
relieved. The Charter, which had been granted by 
James I. and cancelled by his son, was now restored 
and enlarged by Cromwell; but in 1687, James 11., 
then in the height of his tyranny, wrested the Charter 
altogether from " the maiden city." 

This brings us to the war of the Eevolution. The 
Stuart kings, instead of thinking that they had been 
upraised by Providence rightly and well to govern 
their subjects, reversed the thought, and supposed 
that all the people of these lands lived only for their 
pleasure and benefit. The vices of the family cul- 
minated in its last governing representative. James 11. 
was impatient of control, relentless towards oppo- 
nents, imperious in will, furious in temper, pedantic, 
false, awfully bigoted, and from the beginning to the 
end of his public life under the absolute dominion of 


Popery. It could not be that a nation sound to 
Protestantism to the very core could long be governed 
by a King like this. Whether he foresaw the coming 
disasters, we cannot tell ; but he seems early to have 
thought that Ireland would be his strength, if not his 
refuge. Always more faithful to the Pope than to 
his Coronation Oath, it was his policy to foster the 
bad feeling between the Eoman Catholics and the 
Protestants. It was his purpose to bring the whole 
of the United Kingdom under the yoke of Eome ; but 
the first part of his plan was to make the conquest 
complete in Ireland. He therefore effected a revolu- 
tion in all the State officers. He disbanded the 
Protestant portion of the army to the extent of six 
thousand men, whose places were supplied by the 
lowest ruffianism of the island. All the chief military 
posts were in the hands of the Papists, with Tyrconnel 
at their head. Of this man it is sufficient to say that 
he was known during his lifetime, and long after his 
death, as " lying Dick Talbot." This phrase gives us 
an insight into his character. The vice of lying is 
never isolated. He who will intentionally deceive, 
will steal if he have the chance. I would always 
fold my cloak closely around me, and grip my purse, 
in the presence of a liar. He simply lacks opportunity 
to filch your property, or blast your reputation. This 
was the man to whom was given the chief military 
command. The civil appointments were of much the 
same character. The greatest rascal that could be 
found in Westminster — a convicted forger — was made 
Lord Chancellor. A thorough-going Romanist became 
Chief Baron of the Exchequer, who made it his public 


boast that he would " drive a coach and six through 
the Act of Settlement." Sheriffs were appointed 
whose hands had been branded for theft ; and all the 
Municipal Corporations were placed under the authority 
of the Crown. 

The King supposed that his plans were progressing 
admirably ; when just in the height of his tyranny, he 
was startled by the cry of what he called treason. 
The Eevolution had actually commenced. William of 
Orange had been invited by the nobles of England 
to come and deliver their nation from oppression. 
His preparations were quickly and quietly made; and 
almost before the Court was aware of his approach, 
he had landed in Devonshire, and was hailed by 
the people with rapturous acclaim as their Country's 

The Monarch was alternately pale and crimson with 
passion; but he had soon to realize the fate of the 
tyrant. He was quickly compelled to leave his throne 
and flee into France, where he was received with 
welcome by his royal Popish brother, who assured him 
that they had both the same interests, and that he 
would restore him to his kingdom. This restoration, 
it was believed, could only be effected by means of 
Ireland. It was therefore agreed that a large contin- 
gent should proceed from France, and join the Irish 
royalists in subduing the two Protestant strongholds 
of the country. By one of the basest acts that a public 
man ever committed, Tyrconnel deprived the Protestants 
of Ireland of their chief leader. He requested Lord 
Mountjoy to proceed to James as a deputation, implor- 
ing him for the sake of peace to make some concessions, 


« . — . 

and he would then be welcomed back again by a devoted 
people. With great difficulty Mountjoy was persuaded 
to go. But he was accompanied by the Chief Baron, 
who was privately to tell the King that he was a 
traitor, and must not be allowed to return. Mountjoy 
was thrust into prison ; and then Tyrconnel threw off 
the mask, and announced himself as the extirpator of 
the Protestants in Ireland. He called the whole 
nation to arms ; gave the pass-word from Dublin Castle, 
" Now or never ;" permitted the plunder or destruction 
of the Protestants without let or hindrance ; and within 
a few weeks, a hundred thousand people were in arms. 
The whole Protestant Community was in consterna- 
tion. They called to mind that fearful massacre of 
1641, and believed that they were about to witness a 
repetition. A report was circulated that on a particular 
night — the 9 th of December — every English family 
was to be put to death. Many thousands of terrified 
people left their homes, and sought to reach England. 
To prevent so sudden a departure, Tyrconnel sent for 
many leading Protestants to the Castle, and assured 
them with oaths and curses, that the rumour was " a 
confounded lie." He even pulled off his hat and wig, 
and threw them into the fire, as a confirmation of the 
many oaths he had just uttered. But they remembered 
that his name was " Dick Talbot ;" and his very denial 
assured them that the report was true. They therefore 
resolved to put themselves in a state of defence, and 
wait the issue. The historian says that " every large 
country house became a fortress. Every visitor who 
arrived after nightfall was challenged from a loophole, 
or from a barricaded window ; and, if he attempted to 


enter without pass-words and explanations, a blunder- 
bus was presented to him. On the dreaded night of 
the 9 th December, there was scarcely one Protestant 
mansion, from the Giant's Causeway to Bantry Bay, in 
which armed men were not watching and lights burn- 
ing from early sunset to the late sunrise." 

It was now felt that the struggle between the two 
classes of Ireland's population was at hand. The 
Protestants, as if by general arrangement, rushed simul- 
taneously to their strongholds in the North — Enniskillen 
and Deny. It was Tyrconnel's intention to have both 
these places well garrisoned by Popish troops; but that 
intention in each case was defeated. The Enniskilleners 
were not content to act merely on the defensive ; but 
when they heard that the soldiers were at hand, they 
hastily arranged their little forces, darted out of the 
place, came dashing on the enemy, and put them to an 
utter and ignominious flight. 

The Earl of Antrim, with 1,200 men (red-hot 
Papists) under his command, had been ordered with 
all despatch to Deny. He had already reached Cole- 
raine, and was on full march to the City, when the 
tidings of his approach were received, through a special 
messenger, at the midnight hour. There was at once 
a sad scene of confusion. Some advised the closing 
of the gates and a resolute defence ; others, including 
several members of the Corporation, pleaded for nego° 
tiations ; and others still, for submission. The good 
old Bishop, Dr. Hopkins, a thorough disciple of non- 
resistance, exhorted the people to submit to their fate. 
In the midst of these City deliberations, Antrim's Red- 
shanks, as his regiment was called, presented themselves 



on the opposite side of the Foyle. Two companies 
at once crossed the ferry, commanded by a lieutenant 
and an ensign, who demanded admittance in the name 
of his Majesty. The authorities were still undecided, 
when thirteen or more youths, whose names ought to 
be preserved in letters of gold, and live in the memory 
of a grateful posterity, " ran to the main-guard, seized 
the keys after a slight opposition, came to the ferry, 
drew up the bridge, and locked the gate, Lord Antrim's 
soldiers having advanced within sixty yards of it. 
They then ran to the other three gates, and, having 
left guards at each of them, assembled in the market- 
place." " On this sudden and apparently unimportant 
movement," observes Dr. Eeid, " the fate of the three 
kingdoms ultimately depended." 

Derry was at once the scene of mad excitement. 
The Bishop remonstrated, and reminded them of their 
duty to their abdicated King; but his exhortations 
were cut short by a sharp, decided voice: " A very good 
sermon, my lord ; a very good sermon ; but we have 
not time to hear it just now." The deputy-mayor and 
the sheriffs, traitors to their city, resolved to throw 
open the gates; but the illustrious apprentice boys sent 
a party to prevent it, when one of their number was 
wounded by a Popish sentinel. The sight of Protes- 
tant blood produced an irresistible effect. Mackenzie 
drily observes that " the dull heads of the men of 
Londonderry could not comprehend how it could be 
a great crime to shut the gates against those whom 
they believed to have been sent to cut their throats." 
William of Orange was proclaimed King, the deputy- 
mayor was pronounced a traitor, Antrim's soldiers were 

"A'O surrender:' 179 

commanded to be gone ; one, James Morrison, cried 
from the walls, " Bring a great gun here," when they 
were seized with fright and hastened across the river 
to their doughty companions. Messengers were de- 
spatched during the night to all the Protestant gentry 
of the neighbourhood, who came by hundreds, both 
on horse and on foot, to assist in the defence. A 
message most opportunely arrived next morning from 
London, announcing the successes of King William. 
A volley of artillery was at once fired in honour of 
the tidings. The Eedshanks on the opposite side of 
the Foyle were alarmed at the thundering cannon, took 
to their heels, and were soon safe at Coleraine. This, 
then, was the actual commencement of the " Siege of 

When Tyrconnel heard of the resistance, he was 
frantic with rage. According to custom, he began to 
wreak his fury upon his wig ; but as the passion sub- 
sided, he assumed the diplomatist. He had just heard 
of William's successes, of the promise which London 
had given to help the Protestants of Ireland, and of 
the desertion of James' ablest generals. He therefore 
personated a character which was indeed very foreign 
to bim, and proposed by clemency to bring back the 
North to submission. Several weeks were spent in 
fruitless negotiations, during which Deny made its 
preparations for defence. 

.fames now became anxious to leave his asylum for 
Ireland, and was importunate for help. The French 
Ministers of State had a virulent controversy as to 
what help should be rendered, and who should accom- 
pany his Majesty. It was at length resolved that a 


fleet, rather than an army, should be despatched, under 
the command of the Count of Eosen. 

On the 15 th February, James went to the royal 
palace to say good-bye to his benevolent host. Louis 
treated him with the most flattering attention, and said 
to him at parting, " I hope we are about to part, never 
to meet again in this world." The historian says that 
" James set out for Brest ; and his wife, overcome with 
sickness and sorrow, shut herself up with her child to 
weep and pray." 

He landed at Kinsale on the 12th March, where 
he was received with unbounded joy by the Eoman 
Catholic population. It is said that " for the want of 
bells, the king was welcomed with the shouts and 
acclamations of the people; that a national dance, 
called the Rinka fada, was performed on the occa- 
sion, the figure and execution of which delighted him 

He entered Dublin on Saturday, 24th March. His 
progress to the Castle was quite an ovation : flags were 
waved, flowers were scattered, women were dancing, 
priests were blessing, and all the pipers of the City 
were singing : " The King shall enjoy his own again." 

James remained in Dublin for nearly three weeks, 
undecided as to the future. The City was divided 
into factions : some anxious to retain the King at the 
Castle, others as urgent for his progress Northward to 
subdue Derry, and then pass over to England. After 
much acrimonious discussion, James settled the question 
for himself ; and as he always had a liking for military 
parade, when there was no personal danger, he put him- 
self at the head of 12,000 men and set out for Ulster. 

" NO S UR 'RENDER. " 1 8 r 

He made a hasty journey, overtook De Eosen within 
two miles of Deny, put himself in front of the forces, 
and at length halted on a hill, within cannon shot of 
the walls. 

The place was at once surrounded by the troops, 
except on the water side. A messenger was sent from 
the camp to announce the arrival of his Majesty, and 
to summon the City to surrender, who returned with 
the tidings that an official reply would be given in an 
hour. James waited in confidence ; when in a little 
while the promised reply came in the unexpected form 
of a shower of cannon and musket balls, which con- 
tinued to fall with terrible effect, until " his Majesty," 
as he himself complacently says, " seeing that he gained 
nothing upon the minds of these obstinate wretches, 
who neither offered to surrender nor capitulate, drew 
off his troops, on account of the bad weather, to the 
quarters nearest the town, there to expect the arrival 
of the cannon and other things necessary for the form- 
ing of a siege or blockade, as should be found most 
expedient, and retired himself to St. Johnstone." 

When the immortal apprentice boys had shut the 
gates, and the gauntlet had thus been thrown down to 
the royalist army, it became the first duty of the City 
to look after the defences. And, in truth, they needed 
it. " The fortifications," we are told, " consisted of a 
simple wall overgrown with grass and weeds. There 
was no ditch even before the gates ; the drawbridges 
had long been neglected, the chains were rusty and 
could scarcely be used ; the parapets and towers were 
built after a fashion which might well move the 
disciples of Vauban to laughter: and these feeble 


defences were on almost every side commanded by 

But the Citizens soon discovered that the defence of 
the place was not the only thing requiring attention. 
They had unmistakable proof that all the enemies of 
Protestantism and liberty had not gone to Coleraine 
with Lord Antrim's Eedshanks. There was first the 
whisper, and then the cry, of treachery within the 
walls. The traitor was no less a person than the 
Governor himself. When Tyrconnel committed the 
perfidy of sending Lord Mountjoy on the mission to 
France, that nobleman, who was then Governor of 
Derry, nominated Colonel Lundy as his successor, and 
left him in charge. This man, whose name to this 
day is justly said to be "held in execration by the 
Protestants of the North of Ireland," and whose " effigy 
was long, and perhaps still is, annually hung and 
burned by them with marks of abhorrence similar to 
those which in England are appropriated to Guy Faux," 
was professedly a Protestant ; but it would be nearer 
the truth to designate him a " concealed Jacobite." 

How a faithful recorder of the facts can come to 
any other conclusion than that he was a deeply-dyed 
traitor, we are at a loss to know. From the moment 
that Mountjoy left him in charge of the City, it was 
his policy to prepare the way for James' restoration. 
He brought four companies of soldiers into London- 
derry, half of whom were Papists ; but the Derry men, 
always awake, retained the Protestant half, and expelled 
the others. He wrote to Lord Kingston to quit the 
garrison at Sligo, and come at once to Derry's relief, 
telling him that the blood of all the Protestants of the 


Xorth would lie upon him if he hurried not to their 
rescue. But when Kingston drew near, he wrote him 
again to say that there was no provision for him at 
Deny, aud he must remain where he was. Kingston, 
disgusted with such treatment, returned to Sligo, but 
found that meanwhile a Popish garrison had taken 
possession of the place. Lundy entered into secret 
correspondence with James' officers, engaging that 
when the proper moment came, he would surrender 
the City. On the 14th April, reinforcements from 
England anchored in the Bay. He dissuaded the 
officers from landing their men, exhorted them to go 
back to England ; and the leal-hearted citizens had the 
mortification of seeing those two regiments of English- 
men carried away from their relief. He called a Council 
of "War; but refused admission to those members who 
were true to William and Mary, who had been already 
proclaimed, and to whom Lundy himself had solemnly 
sworn allegiance. One brave soldier, however, saw 
through the treachery, and shouted energetically: 
" Understand this : to give up Londonderry is to give 
up Ireland." But Lundy treated the utterance with 
contempt. When the vanguard of James' army was 
in sight, he issued orders that there should be no 
firing. He sent a message stealthily to the Popish 
King, to say that the City was open to him ; and he 
sternly rebuked the heroic deed of the apprentice 

But Lundy found that he had carried the game too 
far, and that he was now in danger of being torn limb 
from limb by an indignant, because betrayed, people. 
" Hang him !" cried one ; " Shoot him !" roared another ; 


" Throw him into the Foyle !" shouted a third. He 
thought discretion the better part of valour, hid himself 
until nightfall in some secluded apartment, dressed 
himself up as a poor vagrant match-seller, threw a 
bundle of faggots over his shoulders, let himself down 
from a part of the wall where he was unobserved, and 
made his escape into obscurity, " unwept, unhonoured, 
and unsung." 

It has been already intimated that this Lundy was 
not the only traitor sheltered within the walls of Derry. 
The Council of War just referred to was composed of 
men for the most part the nominees of the Governor, 
so that we wonder not at their treachery. But the 
Town Council, on more than one occasion, was in 
guilty complicity with Lundy. When this fact was 
made known, the population became frantic. The cry 
of treachery ran round the walls like lightning ; prayers 
for help were heard in some of the dwellings, and 
vows of vengeance in others. The streets echoed and 
re-echoed the sentiment : " We are betrayed and sold 
to our enemies." So frenzied, indeed, became the City, 
that the houses and persons of the Town Councillors 
were attacked. Some property was destroyed; one 
officer of rank was killed ; and several parties were 
wounded in the struggle. All authority on the part 
of officials was lost, and the town was in the hands of 
the population. 

Well was it for the interests of Protestantism and 
of humanity that that population was more loyal to 
truth and justice than the rulers they had driven out. 
It was not a disorderly mob, inflamed by impure 
passions, rising up against properly-constituted and 

u no surrender:' 185 

righteously - exercised authority, and in the spirit of 
rebellion destroying property and life with a fiendish 
thrill of satisfaction. The atrocities of Delhi and 
Cawnpore will be execrated to latest generations. But 
it was a large mass of sober, industrious, truthful, 
liberty-loving people, finding that their confidence had 
been misplaced, that their dearest birthright had been 
traitorously bartered, that a satanic intrigue was now 
on foot, for the selling of themselves and their wives 
and children into a slavery more horrible a thousand- 
fold than that of Egypt, resolving in the true spirit 
of manhood and of loyalty to claim for themselves and 
their posterity the rights which Heaven and their 
Country's Constitution had secured to them. 

"We believe that there was an especial Providence in 
the event which immediately succeeded the flight of 
the Governor. The excited population were not in- 
fluenced by any lawless and vindictive feeling, or they 
would not have proceeded at once to the appointment 
of new authorities. Their choice, you will say, was a 
strange one ; but the result proved its wisdom. Mere 
human sagacity pronounced it folly; but there is a 
Book which says that " God hath chosen the foolish 
things of the world to confound the wise ; and God 
hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound 
the things which are mighty ; and base things of the 
world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, 
yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things 
that are : that no flesh should glory in his presence." 

The election of Governors fell upon Major Baker, 
a military officer, and the Eev. George "Walker, a 
Protestant clergyman. The former was chosen, as it 



would seem, simply for the sake of form, and that the 
military element might appear associated with the 
office ; but Walker to all intents and purposes became 
the Governor of Derry. 

This justly celebrated man was of a Yorkshire 
family; but his father became a clergyman in the 
diocese of Derry in 1633. His first connection with 
the Siege of Derry was in January 1688, when he 
went to consult Lundy about the defence of Dungannon, 
and obtained some troops for the protection of that 
place. Early in March he again visited the City, to 
concert measures of safety with the Governor, who as 
yet was scarcely suspected of treachery. He raised a 
regiment of infantry in his own locality, and on the 
1 7th April, he joined the forces which sought to stop 
the Irish army on its march to Derry. The attempt 
was unsuccessful, and he retreated to those walls 
within which his courage and prudence were after- 
wards so signally displayed. On reaching Bishop's 
Gate, he found it closed against him by Lundy's 
sentries. He remained with his men outside during 
the night, and next morning forced his way into the 
City. He soon found that the place was in deceitful 
hands. He watched the Governor with a suspicious 
eye ; secured by his zeal and judgment the confidence 
both of the garrison and populace ; and when Lundy 
was ignominiously ejected, all eyes were fixed on him 
as Derry's deliverer. 

There can be no doubt as to the unanimity with 
which "Walker was elected to his office ; and the feeling 
through the City was general, that if it was possible to 
save the place at all, he, under God, was the man to 


do it. An old ballad- writer, after enumerating the 
noble band who came from the surrounding districts 
to help in the defence, says : 

" And last, not least, from Donaghmore, 
George Walker came to guide us, 
To join our cause for evermore, 
Let weal or woe betide us ; 
When pressed with woe, in spirits low, 
We heard his words endearing ; 
When he said Go, we chased the foe, 
His voice our spirits cheering." 

The new Governors soon found that the duties laid 
upon them were of no trifling character. Their first 
business was to ascertain exactly the condition of the 
place they had to govern. King James, when he 
retired to St. Johnstone, called a Council of War, in 
which it was determined that Derry should be taken by 
a slow siege ; so that the virtue of endurance, as well as 
of courage, would evidently be required. It turned 
out that there were 30,000 fugitives from the adjacent 
districts, who had crowded into the City for protection. 
These could render but little help ; and yet they, in 
addition to the garrison, had to be provided with 

" It was obvious enough," says Walker, " what a 
dangerous undertaking we had ventured upon. But 
the resolution and courage of our people, and the 
necessity we were under, and the great confidence and 
dependence amongst us on Almighty God, that He 
would take care of us and preserve us, made us over- 
look all these difficulties. And God was pleased to 
make us the happy instruments of preserving this 
place, and to Him we give the glory ; and no one need 


go about to undervalue or lessen those He was pleased 
to choose for so great a work. We do allow ourselves 
to be as unfit for it as they can make us, and that God 
has only glorified Himself in working so great a wonder 
with His own right hand, and His holy arm getting 
Himself the victory." 

One thing which contributed materially to the 
success of the defence, was the thorough oneness of the 
garrison and the populace as to their duty. All 
religious animosities among the Protestant sections of 
the Church, with the most trifling exceptions, were 
held in abeyance, if not destroyed ; and in sooth, it 
was no time for bickering and distrust. There were 
about eighteen clergymen and eight Nonconforming 
ministers in the City when the siege began ; but five of 
the former, and four of the latter, died before the siege 
was raised. 

By general consent, " No surrender ! " was made the 
watchword of the siege. Many, in token of the agree- 
ment, wore a badge upon their right arm, with these 
talismanic words embroidered on it; and so resolutely 
was the motto adopted, that they made a decree that 
no man should, under any temptation of hunger or 
danger, utter the word " surrender." Even the women 
of Derry — all honour to their memory — resolved to 
take part in this heroic contest. Some carried ammuni- 
tion, and others food ; some watched the shells falling 
from the enemy, and daringly drew the very fuse out 
of the touch-hole, to prevent an explosion ; and others 
threw stones from the ramparts upon the grenadiers' 
heads below ; while all joined with their husbands and 
brothers and lovers in the chorus of " No surrender ! " 


' ' With hearts like these, what blood could freeze ? 

The dangers gathered round us, 
From morn till night, we stood the fight, 

The foe could ne'er confound us ; 
No famine pale could aught avail, 

No feelings keen or tender 
Make us relent, or once consent 

To say the word ' Surrender.' " 

The work of slaughter now began in earnest. On 
the evening of April 19 th, James sent a messenger 
to ask whether the engagements which Lundy had 
treacherously made would be fulfilled. The answer 
was, that the defenders of these walls repudiated the 
Governor's promises. On the 20th, he sent a peer of 
high distinction, holding a flag of truce, and offering a 
free pardon to all. Murray, who went out to meet the 
flag, bravely said, " The men of Londonderry have 
done nothing that requires a pardon, and own no 
Sovereign but King William and Queen Mary. It 
may not be safe for your lordship to stay longer, or to 
return on the same errand. Let me have the honour 
of seeing you through the lines." The next day, the 
besiegers, with a heavy cannonade, began to batter the 
town. Many roofs were broken in, and some citizens 
were killed. But this roused the spirit of Derry's 
sons the more, and towards evening Colonel Murray 
led out his troops into the valley, where a bloody fray 
took place. Two hundred of the royalist army were 
slain ; while the French officer at the head of the cavalry 
and Murray are said to have entered -into personal 
conllict, and Maumont was smitten to the ground a 

This was at Pennybarn. In another sally, five hundred 


men were either slain or wounded, and a second dis- 
tinguished French general was shot to the ground. 
Several banners were captured, and displayed in the 
Cathedral, as trophies of that well-fought day. 

James began to be ashamed of his army, and re- 
proached them for their cowardice. They therefore 
resolved to attack the outworks, and a large number 
bound themselves either to succeed or die. The place 
selected was Windmill Hill, near the Southern gates. 
It was a fearful struggle ; some of James' soldiers suc- 
ceeded in reaching the wall, but they were either killed, 
or made prisoners. Four hundred of the Irish fell, and 
the living retreated to their camp. Walker's Diary says 
that "in their retreat they took the dead on their 
backs, and so preserved their own bodies from the 
remainder of our shot ; which was more service than 
they did when alive." 

The besiegers were now deterred from aggressive 
efforts. James, in angry mood, left the camp for 
Dublin, and eventually appointed Eosen as the Com- 
mander-in-chief. The siege was turned into a blockade, 
and Derry was to be forced by famine into a surrender. 
Large reinforcements both of men and material were 
sent to Eosen, who uttered threats of the most fearful 
kind to the defenders. " He would raze the City to 
the ground ; he would spare no living thing ; no, not 
the young girls nor the babes at the breast. The 
leaders he would rack ; he would roast them alive." 
But no threat from such a quarter moved them. They 
had only one reply to either bribery or intimidation, 
"No surrender!" Men were dying, houses were 
falling, streets were being ploughed up ; but the men 


of Deny were still true to their oath and to one 

The Garrison and City were feeling fearfully the 
effect of famine and consequent disease. " As early as 
the 8 th of June, horse-flesh was almost the only food 
that could be bought ; and the supply of this Avas 
scanty. Tallow and starch furnished the deficiency, 
and even these were doled out sparingly." 

In the midst, however, of these dreary circumstances, 
a gleam of light appeared. The tidings had reached 
London. There was a sharp debate in the House of 
Commons. All parties there agreed to send immediate 
help; and on the 15th June, the sentinels on the roof 
of the Cathedral saw the sails of thirty vessels in the 
distance. There was great difficulty in conveying a 
message from the ships to the town ; but a youth, fleet 
of foot, contrived to elude the enemy's watchers ; and 
entering the City, handed a letter which had been tied 
in his garter to Governor Walker. This was from 
Major-General Kirk, announcing his arrival in the 
Lough, with a large supply of men, war material, and 
stores for their relief. The City was filled with joy, 
and all seemed to regard it as life from the dead. A 
boom had been thrown over the river by the enemy ; 
and Kirk's fleet was narrowly watched. But he 
made no effort to relieve them ; so that several weeks 
elapsed before the help, now within their sight, was 
brought within their reach ; and all the while, gaunt 
famine and fever were killing men by thousands. 

This conduct of Kirk was not only destitute of the 
heart of a British officer ; it was treasonable. He knew 
the urgency with which he had been sent from 


England ; he knew the condition of the garrison. 
Letters reached him from Walker and Baker, saying 
that there was no human hope of sustaining the siege 
more than six days longer, and imploring him, in the 
name of 20,000 dying Protestants, to hasten their 
deliverance ; and yet they had the mortification of 
seeing those sails fade away in the distance, and then 
it was that they gave themselves up to despair. But 
though dead to hope, and though the departure of 
Kirk had revived the expectations of the besieging 
army, these heroic men were still resolved, and as re- 
solved as ever, to die rather than surrender. They agreed 
first to eat all the horses, then the prisoners, and then 
one another, sooner than betray that great Protestant 
cause to which they had solemnly pledged their lives. 

The last day of June witnessed two events — the 
death of Baker, "Walker's worthy colleague in the 
Governorship ; and also a threat of one of the most 
villanous transactions ever recorded in the annals 
of war. General Eosen sent this message, that if 
the City was not delivered up by six o'clock the 
next afternoon, he would send his soldiers through the 
whole district, and they should drive before them all 
the Protestants, men, women, and children, protected 
or unprotected ; and having forced them to the walls 
of Derry, they should lie and die there, under the eyes 
of the garrison. 

Nor was this an idle threat. On the 2nd of July, a 
slow-rising cloud of dust announced to the sentinels 
on the ramparts the approach of a large body of people. 
The bugle sounded the alarm ; for all supposed that the 
enemy was coming, none ever dreaming that Bosen's 

"jvo surrenders i 93 

threat was in course of execution. The garrison stood 
to arms ; and, when the word was given, fired a volley 
into the distant crowd. A loud scream, more piercing 
than cannon, rent the skies. A light breeze sprang 
up, dispersing both the smoke and dust ; and then 
there were presented to their horror-stricken sight 
"several thousands of Protestants, not captives taken 
in battle, but victims dragged by force from their 
peaceful habitations." 

When the first spasm of horror at the sight was 
past, the most furious cry of indignation and revenge 
that ever was heard in Derry arose in the streets and 
echoed from the walls. " A gallows ! a gallows ! " 
shouted first one and then a thousand voices; and 
almost as by magic there rose upon the walls, and in 
sight of the enemy's camp, that horrid machine of death ; 
and a message was despatched, stating that if this help- 
less crowd were not at once removed, every prisoner in 
their hands should be immediately hanged — a threat, 
however, which happily was not fulfilled. It is but 
justice to say that the Irish soldiers obeyed the orders 
of their inhuman General with much hesitation ; and 
the moment James heard of the shocking proposal, he 
sent a despatch to Eosen to forbid it ; so that on the 
4th July, this wretch, perceiving that his object was 
unaccomplished, and that his conduct was universally 
execrated, sulkily issued orders to disperse the crowd, 
and to recommence the bombardment. 

The first day of July found the garrison reduced to 
;>,700 men. Famine and the siege lessened the 
soldiers at the rate of fifty per day ; and, regarding the 
number of inhabitants, there must have been nearly 



two hundred daily interments within that small City. 
The appearance of the two little graveyards was fearful. 
Material could scarcely be found even to cover the 
dead ; and every now and then, a cannon ball from the 
enemy fell into the cemeteries, ploughing up the graves, 
and still more horribly mangling the bodies of the dead. 
It became at length an absolute necessity that those 
who died of famine or disease in their houses should 
be buried in the precincts of their own dwellings. 

"With still more fearful effect the bombardment was 
now carried on. Havoc was made with the gates and 
bastions ; but the besieged repaired in the night what 
was destroyed in the daytime. Every hour witnessed 
the death of their comrades, and their store's diminu- 
tion ; until at length, about the 27th or 28th, an 
exact account of the provisions was taken, and it was 
found that two or three days at the most would bring 
them to the last morsel. 

It is very surprising to find that even in their 
extremity they tried to rally each other's spirits, and 
still pledged themselves to " No surrender ! " One is 
pleased to see that the grand old Governor was the 
first man to urge their holding out. Nay, there is a 
raciness about his diary which shows that even in this 
extremity he could be moved to laughter by the sight 
of the ridiculous. He gives a detailed account of the 
search of his own house, because some one had said 
that he had secreted food. He notes with gusto how 
the garrison, even with death before them, hotly 
debated whether they should take their debentures in 
Ireland or in France. He gives an amusing descrip- 
tion of a sally made on July 25th, to capture some of 


the enemy's cattle ; and he tells of a portly, fat-looking 
gentleman, who fancied that the hungry faces around 
were all fixed in earnest cannibal desire upon him, 
and who therefore hid himself in a garret for three 
days in succession. 

But the sufferings of this devoted people were 
drawing towards a close. They had now sustained a 
siege of almost unexampled duration and severity. 
The morning of 30 th July broke over the City, as 
many preceding days had done, revealing want and 
death. The hours of the day passed away heavily, 
each one of them closing the eyes of expiring sufferers. 
An affectionate invitation had been given to a special 
service for prayer in the Cathedral. At the appointed 
hour, many wended their way to the Sanctuary. The 
faithful minister spoke words of comfort ; he recounted 
the many interpositions of Heaven on their behalf; 
told them of the testimony they were bearing before 
the world for truth ; prayed that confidence and 
constancy might be their portion, and pronounced 
upon their sorrowing hearts the evening benediction. 
That congregation dispersed. The women went to 
their homes, and the men to garrison duty. The 
calm of night was sitting on the place, when suddenly 
the sentinels on the tower cried out, " There are ships 
in the Lough." The message ran like lightning; and 
almost immediately there was the answering cry from 
a thousand voices as of thunder, " There are ships in 
the Lough." Kirk had heard of the wrath which his 
conduct had excited in London, and had received a 
positive order from Schomberg to relieve Deny at 
all risks. In the convoy under his command, there 


were two vessels, the Mountjoy,oi Derry, and the Phcenix, 
of Coleraine. The Masters of these vessels, Browning 
and Douglas, had volunteered to go on this perilous and 
gallant duty. They were escorted by the Dartmouth 
frigate. These were the three vessels seen in the river. 

Crowds of excited people climbed the walls and 
eminences to look up the Lough ; while the discharge 
of eight cannons from the steeple of the Cathedral, 
and the slow waving of a crimson flag, signified to the 
vessels the City's distress. It is impossible to pourtray 
that hour's anxious suspense. 

The setting sun was yet throwing his radiance 
upon the snow-white sails of the Mountjoy and 
Phcenix. While the besieged were anxiously gazing 
upon their approach, the besiegers were prepar- 
ing for their utter destruction. The boom across the 
river was made of chains and cables, and floated with 
timber, at each end of which redoubts were formed 
and supplied with cannon. Higher up, was the fort 
of Culmore, well prepared for a struggle. For miles 
along the water's edge, the royalist army was stationed, 
to annoy the vessels as they ascended the river. It 
is said " that the only navigable channel ran very near 
to the left bank, where the head-quarters of the enemy 
had been fixed, and where the batteries were most 
numerous." None looking from those walls upon the 
vessels could say that the enterprise was without 
danger. Many an earnest prayer went up to heaven 
in that hour of peril and hope. The royal frigate led 
the way, nobly covering the two vessels with her guns. 
For a long time, down the river there was a running 
fight between the tiny squadron and the enemy ashore. 


The Culmore fort opened its batteries with a fearful 
fire ; but the vessels kept on their course. The fort 
was passed, and the great difficulty — the boom — was 
now approached. "Will they venture to pass it?" 
was the suppressed exclamation of the eager spectators. 
The minute-guns of the Cathedral kept tolling, and 
the crimson flag kept waving. The Mountjoy passed 
by the frigate, and took the lead. Browning, the 
Master, was a Deny man ; his wife and children were 
now dying there. Eagerly he took his stand upon the 
deck, and made right for the boom. The tide and 
breeze were favourable. With a tremendous crash the 
boom was struck. It broke asunder. But oh, Heaven, 
the vessel is stranded ! The terrific blow has caused 
a rebound; she rolls aside, and now lies aground. 
" All faces gather blackness " upon the walls ; while a 
loud " hurrah " is heard from the enemy, who suppose 
the prize their own, and prepare the boats to board 
her. But stop : Browning the commander draws his 
sword, and leads on his men to the fight. As the 
vessel lies on her side, every gunner applies his match 
to the cannon. A tremendous broadside is poured 
into the enemy. The shock which the firing produces, 
aided by the rising tide, helps the vessel to right 
herself. There is a rolling motion for a moment, 
when she clears the bank, and moves on toward the 
City, though, alas ! her gallant Master is no more ; for 
a shot from the enemy's battery lays him low in the 
very moment of victory. The other vessels follow ; 
and, amid the unutterable feelings of the rescued] 
make their way to the quay ; while multitudes of the 
ransomed pour out of the City gates to meet them, and 


unite in singing under heaven's high dome the song of 
deliverance : " sing unto the Lord a new song ; for 
he hath done marvellous things : his 'right hand, and 
his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory." 

It is not needful to go into further detail ; but you 
will be sure that was a night of little sleep in Derry. 
Bonfires were kindled along the wall ; the Cathedral 
bells pealed forth their gladness ; hearty congratula- 
tions were upon every lip. The enemy, now abandon- 
ing all hope of success, raised the siege, and started on 
their desolating march to Strabane. 

" At last by all our sufferings moved, 
Kind Heaven its aid extended, 
The tyrant's arts abortive proved, 
And Derry's woe was ended. 

■' ' In one dark night, the foe took flight, 
Left Patrick's old Church burning, 
And ere 'twas day — all far away, 
They thought not of returning." 

The recollection of this memorable deliverance calls 
forth the enthusiasm not only of the sons of these 
illustrious sires, but of the whole Protestant world. 
The names and deeds of these Derry men will never 
die. The anniversary, both of the shutting of the 
gates on the 7th December, and the raising of the 
siege on the 1st of August, is yet celebrated. 

By this terrible siege, which lasted one hundred 
and five days, many many thousands of people came 
to an untimely end. But, alas ! for the sad realities 
of war, the cry of desolation was soon lost in the 
jubilant songs of deliverance and victory. 

A loyal address to William and Mary was at once 

11 NO SURRENDER." 199 

prepared, which Walker, the proud old Governor, con- 
veyed to London. He was received there with befit- 
ting attention. The thanks of the House of Commons 
were presented to him by the Speaker. The City gave 
him a public entertainment as the great Protestant 
Champion. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was 
conferred upon him by the University of Oxford. 
The King made him a present of £5,000, and com- 
manded Sir Godfrey Kneller to paint the picture, in 
which he is represented "with a Bible, open at the 
twentieth chapter of Exodus, in one hand, and a drawn 
sword in the other. His garment of a purple colour, 
and a large old-fashioned band, form a strong contrast 
to the military sash appearing in crimson folds about 
his waist, in which a pistol is lodged." But Walker's 
most lasting memorial is Deny itself. His memory 
is yet cherished by a grateful posterity. Even the 
magnificent monument erected there to his honour 
was not necessary to preserve him from oblivion. As 
long as ever one stone of that City remains upon 
another, the name of George Walker will be undying. 

" men of Ireland, bless the God who gave you such a Prince, 
His like was never known before, nor ever hath been since. 
The hero of your liberties, your honour, and your health, 
The mountain of your sturdy strength, the Ophir of your wealth. 

"The energy, the daring, the cheerfulness, the pride, 
The stalwart love of freedom, with religion well allied, 
The trust in God for ever, and the hope in man for time, 
These characters ye learnt of him, and stand like .him sublime." 

It is impossible to listen to such a tale of sadness 
and constancy as the Siege of Deny supplies, with 
stoical indifference. Well-nigh every emotion of the 


human heart is set a-stirring; but we are anxious 
that some profit should be derived from so grand 
though melancholy a story. The motto of "No 
surrender ! " which the Derry men adopted, may fitly 
form a text on which to hang a few concluding exhor- 
tations. We ask the Patriot, the Evangelical Christian, 
and the sound-hearted Protestant, to take this motto, 
and make it their own. 

The Patriot. If I were ever tempted to doubt the 
doctrine of total depravity, it would be on this point : 
the love of one's own country. It is surely a feeling 
very nearly akin to religion ; and yet it is found in 
almost every man's heart. 'Tis true there is a sense 
in which patriotism looks over national boundaries 
and takes a world-wide sweep : 

' ' Where'er a human heart doth wear 
Joy's myrtle-wreath, or sorrow's gyves ; 
"Where'er a human spirit strives 
After a life more true and fair, 
There is the true man's birthplace grand, 
His is a world-wide fatherland." 

Still, this does not satisfy our notion of the love of 
Country : it is our hearth, our homestead, our consti- 
tution, and our throne. The poor Jew has it : with 
all the scorn and contumely that you fling at him, as 
you listen to his money-getting groan in the street, or 
see his hankering after usury on the Exchange, he has 
in his heart a deep-seated love of Jerusalem. He 
sighs over its falls, and longs for its restoration. The 
down-trodden Italian has in him a quenchless love of 
fatherland. But is there a man in this world who has 
a deeper love of Country than a thorough-going English- 


man ? Certainly there is not one who ought to have. 
Let us think of our history, of the struggles of the 
past, which by the overruling providence of God 
were the high road to our present eminence ; of 
our security, our liberty, our influence, our destiny; 
let us think of our simple-hearted and honest peasantry ; 
of our horny-handed, hard-toiling artisans; of our 
princely merchants, our high-minded and generous 
nobility; our glorious Constitution; our brave and 
unconquerable defenders, both in the field and on the 
seas ; and, above all, of our gentle, loving, pure-minded 
and gracious Queen; and we may well ask, with a 
gaze incredulous : 

"Breathes there the man with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, 
This is my own, my native land ? " 

If our national privileges are worth the price we have 
paid for them, they are worth defending. Heaven 
forbid that we should foster a spirit of jealousy towards 
other nations, or provoke in them a warlike spirit 
towards us ! But I presume that the greatest lovers 
of peace (and I put myself in that category) would 
not hesitate to tell a belligerent neighbour, who comes 
to us uninvited, that he was not wanted, and that he 
had better keep himself to himself. One of the most 
suggestive passages in Uncle Tom's Cabin is that in 
which our good friend Phineas, who was a determined 
enemy of war, with his long arms pushed the burly 
slave-hunter from the rock into the chasm, with the 
significant intimation, "Friend, thee isn't wanted 
here ! 

I need not say that there is the old John Bull spirit 


in full vigour yet. Heaven forbid it should ever be 
tested again. But our foes may depend upon it, it is 
here. Let them dare to threaten our Queen, and the 
150,000 volunteers who rose up as if by magic would 
be doubled to-morrow ; while our brave army and navy 
would go to the very death with the cry of " No 
surrender ! " Englishmen love their liberty and Queen 
too dearly to surrender either of them to an earthly 
power, except with life. 

' ' How glorious is thy calling, 

My happy fatherland, 
While all the thrones are falling, 

In righteousness to stand, 
Amid the earthquakes heaving, thus 

To rest in pastures green ; 
Then, God be praised who helpeth us, 

And — God preserve the Queen ! 

' ' How glorious is thy calling ! 

In sun and moon and stars 
To see the signs appalling 

Of prodigies and wars, — 
Yet by thy grand example still 

From lies the world to wean ; 
Then, God be praised who guards from ill, 

And — God preserve the Queen ! 

" Within thy sacred border, 

Amid the sounding seas, 
Religion, Right, and Order 

Securely dwell at ease ; 
And if we lift this beacon bright, 

Among the nations seen, 
We bless the Lord who loves the right, 

And — God preserve the Queen ! 

"Fair pastures and still waters 
Are ours withal to hless 
The thronging sons and daughters 
Of exile and distress ; 

'no surrender:' 203 

For who so free as English hearts 

Are, shall be, and have been ? 
Then, God be thanked on our parts, 

And — God preserve the Queen ! 

" Though strife and fear and madness 

Are raging all around, 
There still is peace and gladness 

On Britain's holy ground ; 
But not to us the praise, — to us, 

Our glory is to lean 
On Him who giveth freely thus, 

And — God preserve the Queen ! 

" nation greatly favoured, 

If ever thou should'st bring 
A sacrifice well savour'd 

Of praise to God the King ; 
Now, let all thy children raise, 

In faith and love serene, 
Thy loyal patriot hymn of praise 

Of — God preserve the Queen ! " 

The Evangelical Christian never needed more 
than now to be urged to firmness in the maintenance 
i if truth. The very citadel is attacked; not merely 
by the outside adversary, who, in justice to him let us 
say, scorns to carry on a warfare under false colours, 
but also by treacherous friends, who, dwelling within 
the gates, seek to deliver the city to the foe. There 
is a legion of them whose name is Judas. They 
sacrilegiously kiss, and then betray the truth. Is it 
come to this, that men, eating Christian bread, may 
openly deny the inspiration of the Scriptures; say 
that Plato is as divine in his teaching as Moses and 
Nt. Paul ; that the miracles are exaggerated incidents, 
if not positive falsehoods; and that the resurrection 


of Jesus is a myth ? May men high in office, and, 
because of their position, great in influence, write 
" essays and reviews," in which they deny the foun- 
dation doctrines of Christianity, and advance statements 
so much in harmony with full-blown Atheism, that 
infidel lecturers can tell their audience that their call 
is gone, and that, instead of their usual harangue, 
they will read a few pages from the " essays and 
reviews ? " 

I say that the enemy waxes insolent, because of 
the inactivity of the garrison. If we are not soon 
astir, the day is lost. " To arms," all Evangelical 
Christians ; and as you love the truth, fight for your 
principles, and let your rallying cry be "No surrender!" 

The sound-hearted Protestant has also need in 
these days of Eitualistic tendency to keep his armour 
bright. We have Popery, which is assuredly inimical 
to civil as well as religious liberty, in the Senate, at 
the Bar, in the Protestant pulpit, in the school, in the 
workhouse, in the prison, in the army, lately in the 
Eecord office, among the police. It has thrown a net- 
work over the Country's institutions. It is eating 
away the heart of our Country's glory. It is sapping 
the very foundation of our Constitution ; and while in 
other lands it is becoming the thing of scorn, and 
will be by and by the laughing-stock of Europe, 
in our Protestant Country it is doing an insidious 
work, and our rulers seem to say that they would 
have it so. 

Oh, for a second Luther, with a voice of thunder, to 
denounce the sin, and to summon the Lord's hosts to 
war ! There is a battle before us. Let us prepare 

"no surrender:' 205 

for the conflict, and as we value our birthright, meet 
the adversary in the gate, and cry, "No surrender!" 
What would the great Eeformer say if he beheld the 
coquetting with Eome which this age has witnessed ? 

" Couldst thou look down upon us from thy rest, 

Where'er thy spirit hath its glorious home, 

And note that persecuting horn of Rome 
"Waxing in subtle pow'r and pride unblest ; 

How would thy zeal flame out, thou second Paul ! 
Thy spurious children, who should still protest 

Against a church apostate and impure, 
Now bid her prosper, and insanely call 
The pampering of priestcraft, liberal ! 

Liberal, — to help in forging more secure 
Chains for the conscience, fetters for the mind ; 

Liberal, — to quench our light in utter dark ! 
But prophecy hath told it : search and find : 

Cursed is he that shall receive the mark." 

I implore the young people present to appropriate 
this motto, and make it theirs for life. You will find 
this earthly existence a long scene of conflict. Most 
of you have had the advantage of a religious training, 
either at home or in the schoolroom ; but we ask you, 
beyond this, to make a full consecration of yourselves 
to Christ ; and then in the enjoyment of religion, you 
will possess principles, which, by Divine grace, you 
must never surrender. When your love of the truth 
is assailed, and you are tempted to falsehood either 
for profit or protection, say, " No surrender ! " If 
ungodly companions, with whom, because of business, 
you are compelled to associate, should pour ridicule on 
your profession, and, by banter, seek to do you mischief, 
say " No surrender ! " If your belief in the great truths 
of Christianity should be attacked by the wily sceptic, 


and he should exhort you to throw off the trammels of 
Creed and Sanctuary, and become an independent, free- 
thinking man, cry aloud, " No surrender ! " If the 
sensualist, who knows as well as you do that Chris- 
tianity does not forbid the socialities of life, tries to 
besiege you at this point, and asks you to join him in 
places of recreation, and then amusement, and then 
intemperance, and then debauchery ; oh, thunder in his 
ears, so that he shall be startled by your decision, 
" No surrender ! " And finally, if you are called to 
struggle hard with the world ; if fortune has no smile 
for you ; if in long and sad succession, sickness, and 
losses, and disappointments, and bereavements come, 
still, bravely battle on. It is dark now, but there's 
light in front. Confident of the good times coming, 
say to the present, " No surrender ! " 


' ' Ever constant, ever true, 

Let the word be ' No surrender ! ' 

Boldly dare, and greatly do, 

This shall bring us bravely through : 
' No surrender ! ' ' No surrender ! ' 

And though fortune's smiles be few, 

Hope is always springing new, 

Still inspiring me and you 
"With a magic ' No surrender ! ' 

" Nail the colours to the mast, 

Shouting gladly, ' No surrender ! ' 

Troubles near are all but past — 

Serve them as you did the last, 
' No surrender ! ' ' No surrender ! ' 

Though the skies be overcast, 

And upon the sleety blast 

Disappointments gather fast, 
Beat them off with, ' No surrender ! ' 

"no surrender:' 2 o 7 

"Constant and courageous still, 

Mind, the word is ' No surrender ! ' 
Battle though it be uphill, 
Stagger not at seeming ill ; 

' No surrender ! ' ' No surrender ! ' 
Hope, and thus your hope fulfil, 
There's a way, where there's a will. 
And the way all cares to kill 

Is to give them ' No surrender ! ' " 



A CELEBRATED writer of antiquity, when treat- 
ing of the emotion of sublimity, does not attempt 
to define it ; for, being what is termed " a simple feel- 
ing," it is incapable of definition. He rather suggests 
to us the occasions on which the emotion is excited. 
" That alone is truly sublime," he says, " of which the 
conception is vast, the effect irresistible, and the 
remembrance scarcely, if ever, to be erased." 

Now, taking the statement of this heathen to be 
correct, you cannot find in the world an instance of 
sublimity to be compared for a moment with the 
enterprise of its evangelization. As we look upon 
nature in a thousand of its aspects, the mind is 
overpowered with the thought of majesty, grandeur, 
sublimity. The vast range of science, embracing as it 
does all created objects, and putting the whole world, 
both of matter and mind, into its crucible, presents 
innumerable instances of greatness, and excites in its 
student the truly sublime. The pages of history are 
studded with facts upon which the mind loves to 



linger, from which radiate the virtues of courage, 
dignity, benevolence, and around which are gathered 
the noblest emotions of the human heart. The world 
of philanthropy is rich in instances of moral dignity. 
As you fix your eye upon the man who lives for the 
welfare of his species, whose footsteps you track to 
the house of miser)', whose heart heaves with pity, 
and whose hands are open to relieve the needy — as 
you see him throw off his native selfishness, and act 
for the benefit of others, your own hearts catch up 
something of his sympathy, your own soul becomes 
fired with resolve to join him in his work of bene- 
volence, and your mind is filled with sublime sensa- 
tions. All these, however, fade into insignificance 
when compared with the gigantic scheme of mercy in 
which the Missionary is engaged. Just as the inte- 
rests of the soul are higher and more pressing and 
more momentous than those of the body, so the work 
before us is infinitely more sublime than all beside. 

Their sublimity is seen in the object which these 
Missions contemplate. However Utopian and chimeri- 
cal this may be considered by many, we rejoice in the 
thought that it is nothing less than the temporal and 
spiritual happiness of man — universal man — on earth, 
and his completeness of glory in the world to come. 
It embraces everything that the most noble heart of 
the most noble philanthropist could feel or desire ; 
but his very highest flights of beneficence are left far 
behind. The soul of the Missionary rises above the 
alleviation of mere temporal misery ; it soars into the 
heavens, where from God Himself, the Source of good, 
it obtains its holiest aspirations and sublime example. 



We contemplate the salvation — and this word is 
used in its highest sense — the salvation of 270 mil- 
lions of nominal Christians, 5 millions of Jews, 100 
millions of Mahometans, 435 millions of Brahmins 
and Buddhists, and 160 millions of other idolaters. In 
Europe we claim for Christ 230 millions of human 
beings. A few of these have already acknowledged 
His authority ; but we claim them all for Christ. The 
worldly and openly profane of our own Country, the 
infidel and demoralized population of France, the super- 
stitious and priest-ridden Spaniards, the rationalistic 
and cold-souled people of Germany, the degraded serfs 
of Austria, and all the immense multitudes both of the 
European Continent and Islands ; in the name of Christ, 
His servants claim them all. 

Asia, with its 630 millions, comes within our range. 
Here the Mahometan delusion reigns almost unmolested 
at present; but the battering-ram of truth shall demolish 
the entire system ; the crescent shall wane away. 

We forget not the 60 millions of poor Africans, 
who, if misery should have a voice, — if deep, sordid, 
cold-blooded, and long-inflicted cruelty may demand 
consideration, — have claims upon us which have not yet 
been met, but which are surely registered against us. 

Forty-seven millions in North and South America, 
and three millions in Australia and Polynesia, are not 
excluded from the Missionary operations of the Church. 
This then is our object. There are nearly ten hundred 
millions of dying though immortal men upon the earth. 
Almost twenty millions of heathen are dying annually. 
Our work is to fit them for their change, and make 
them burning seraphs in heaven for ever. The Mis- 


sionary enterprise will not be sufficed by the conversion 
of a few islands, or even the Continents of the world. 
In the name of Christ, and at His bidding, it seeks to 
preach the Gospel to every creature. In full com- 
manding light the motto is emblazoned upon its ban- 
ners, " The world for Christ." If, then, vastness be an 
essential element in the emotion of sublimity, you have 
it in its highest perfection in the scheme of Missions. 

Look also at the means by which the enterprise 
seeks to accomplish its object. It ought surely to be 
sufficient to say that these means are divinely appointed. 
And there is sublimity in the very contrast between 
these and those devised by finite man. It would 
seem as if men could accomplish nothing without noise 
and bustle. The whole Country is to be turned upside 
down, if anything great is to be accomplished. An 
immense complexity of instrumentality is brought to 
bear by man upon his work ; but that which God 
employs is ineffably simple. If an architect under- 
takes a work of ordinary magnitude, for days and 
weeks and months you hear the voices of the work- 
men, and the sound of the hammer ; the whole appa- 
ratus of machinery seems to indicate violent exertion. 
But see how God works. A tiny seed falls upon 
the ground. You put your foot upon it, and tread it 
into the soil. It by and by germinates, and through 
the power which God gives to it, it breaks the crust 
of earth above its head. No herald comes before it 
to tell the world it is coming. No prean is sung to 
announce its birth. Apparently without effort, and 
silently, it works its way, forming its own stem and 
shooting out its branches, until in its maturity there 


appears the majestic tree, and the fowls of the air 
lodge in the branches of it. It is a sublime consum- 
mation ! When hostile nations seek to obtain the 
mastery, what an arena of noise does the battle-field 
become. The shouts of the soldiers, the fire of the 
guns, the roar of the cannon, the shrieks of the 
wounded, and the hurrahs of victory, tell you that men 
are contending. But, oh, how does God get the vic- 
tory ? He commissions his spiritual forces to attack 
the citadel of the human heart. A divine power is 
levelled at the fortress, but not a sound is heard. The 
Holy Spirit takes a shaft and with an infinite energy 
throws it into the soul ; but it strikes in silence, ex- 
cept now and then, when the sigh of penitence is heard. 
No parley is permitted. An unconditional surrender 
is demanded ; and the attack goes on till, the rebel 
finding he can hold out no longer, the gates are opened, 
the arms are surrendered, mercy is implored, and God 
takes victorious possession of His own. 

The means of our enterprise are all divine. Our 
business simply is to preach Jesus and Him crucified. 
In multitudes of instances this method has been stis- 
matized as weakness and folly, but it never yet failed. 
It would be no recommendation of it, if man approved 
it. Nay, the sneer of the philosopher, the pride of 
the ancient Greek, and the curled lip of the modern 
sceptic, are the proofs of its divinity. These cannot 
understand it — it transcends their thoughts — their 
imaginations cannot touch it. The method of salva- 
tion is sublime. 

Look also at the past and contemplated triumphs of 
this enterprise. 'Tis true, there is no room to boast, 


when we think of how much more might have been 
accomplished ; but in every direction we have more of 
success to tell than might have been expected : and 
though in some respects, in what has been done, we 
find the condemnation of our indolence and parsimony, 
we also find in it an all-powerful motive to increased 
exertion, and our guarantee of future triumph. 

On individuals has it exerted its heaven-descended 
influence. And here we ground our argument for its 
universal spread. Whatever difference may be found 
in form or state or circumstances among the tribes of 
earth, there is the one grand feature through the 
species, that, whatever else the individual is or is 
not, he is a sinner. It is with this we have to do ; 
and if the Gospel can save one, it can save all. 
The Ceylonese has renounced his devil-worship, and 
now worships Him who is Lord of all. The Hindoo 
has abandoned the oppressiveness of his superstition 
— the suppurated arm outstretched in the forest is 
brought down — the raging fire, the heat of which was 
endured as a penance, is extinguished — the ceremony 
of the hook is given up, and the man sits at the feet 
of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. The New 
Zealander has been attacked in his stronghold of 
cruelty, and has yielded to the tender influences of 
Christ's religion. The Friendly Islander has lost his 
warlike spirit, and breathes forth thoughts and words 
of peace. The cannibal Fijian now hates the horrid 
system of baking and devouring human flesh. The 
ignorant and degraded Hottentot seems to have been 
introduced into new life. Spellbound in ignorance, 
his faculties were hidden, and this brought upon him 


the charge of being less than man ; but his intellect 
is raised, and his life has become a model for professing 
Christians. The manacled and lacerated negro has been 
made spiritually free. The red Indian of the woods 
has been introduced to all the blessings of civilisation. 
It matters not in what part of the world, or in what 
condition, the Gospel has found poor human nature ; 
its ignorance has been dispelled — its manhood has 
been asserted — the gem of the soul has been brought 
forth to light, and now burns in all the brilliancy of 
its immortality. 

A like effect has been produced upon systems as on 
individuals. In what position did the Missionary 
enterprise find African slavery, and what has been 
the result of the struggle ? Africa was stained with 
blood. Villages were ravaged — families were scattered 
' — the rich soil of the Country was laid waste — and 
the whole coast was under the terror of a lawless 
banditti. But Clarkson, Wilberforce, and their noble 
fellows, prompted by Missionary facts and motives, 
raised the voice and feeling of our land. The " Island 
Empress " spoke the word, and let the oppressed go 

The horrid system of Sutteeism is done away, and 
the still more horrid system of Caste has received its 
death-blow. No longer does the widow shriek on 
the pile of her husband : that which has stringently 
shut up the sympathies of men against their fellows 
is no longer encouraged by legislative sanction; and 
their ears and hearts are pierced by the Scripture cry : 
" Sirs, ye are brethren ; why do ye wrong one to 
another ? " 


With regard to the future, our hope is full. The 
past are only the first-fruits of the mighty harvest. 
Though many parts of the world are yet in darkness, 
they shall see the light. That monstrous iniquity 
which has its seat in the seven-hilled City, and whose 
superstitions are encouraged in our own Country, is 
doomed to die. The vast continents of the East shall 
be raised from their night of misery ; and to them the 
morning cometh. Japan, and Hindostan, and China 
shall be rescued from their Mahometan and Pagan 
curses. Tartary, and Persia, and Arabia shall welcome 
with loud acclaim that truth which alone can make 
their minds and spirits free. Judea and Egypt shall 
receive His salvation whose feet trod their slopes 
and vales. The Western Hemisphere shall catch the 
radiance of His glory. Jew and Gentile, bond and 
free — all, all of men shall shout the Saviour's praise. 
Our work will not be done till 

" One song employs all nations ; and all cry, 
' Worthy the Lamb, for lie was slain for us ; 
The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks 
Shout to each other, and the mountain tops 
From distant mountains catch the flying joy ; 
Till, nation after nation taught the strain, 
Earth rolls the rapturous Hosannahs round." 

Will even the most enthusiastic admirer of nature 
refuse to yield the palm of sublimity to this heaven- 
born scheme of mercy ? We do not deny that there 
are grand manifestations of the sublime in the world 
around. We rather rejoice to acknowledge the fact ; 
for " our Father made them all." But everything in 
its own order. 


Take an instance of the sublime in nature. I have 
my thought fixed upon a scene on a summer's day, or 
perhaps a transition day between summer and autumn. 
There is great oppressiveness in the atmosphere. The 
sunshine is not so bright and piercing as it was 
yesterday. There is a sulky gleaminess about his 
rays, which seems to say that he is out of humour. 
His face at length is hidden by a cloud, that rolls in 
sullen majesty before him. From a distant part of 
the hemisphere there is another cloud careering, and 
as they approach each other it seems as if two armies 
were about to dispute the possession of the sky. The 
lightnings fly athwart the heavens, as though they are 
the messengers of the Eternal, and tell the world that 
He is about to speak. Men suspend their business. 
The merchant closes his book and paces the counting- 
house with indefinable sensations. The husbandman 
throws down his implement, and makes for the nearest 
cottages. The domestics, as though by some talismanic 
influence, quit their labours, to see if perchance they 
can throw off each other's fears. The very cattle herd 
together, as though some strange catastrophe is about 
to happen. You are not kept long in suspense. 
There is a rumbling sound, just like the artillery on 
some distant battle-field. Another fearful flash, and 
then the heavens are in confusion. One loud and 
long-continued peal of thunder is followed by another 
flash and another stroke. It would seem as if all 
nature had gone out of its course, and was falling with 
a ruinous crash. For some moments of indefinable 
sensation you tremble, and watch the conflict. Some 
immense drops of rain tell you that the flood is 


coming. The fountains of the great deep seem broken 
up ; and then, as though nature had spent her strength, 
the lightnings cease, the thunders recede, the sun 
bursts forth from behind the clouds. His light 
appears ten times brighter than ever, because of the 
temporary darkness. His rays fall upon the floods 
which have just come down ; and heaven and earth, 
only a moment ago the scene of battle, seem to play 
together. Nature resumes her beauty, and the world 
goes on its course. This is sublimity. 

Take another instance. The scene is in North 
America. The Canadian lakes, which are said to cover 
an area of 93,000 square miles, and contain nearly one- 
half of the fresh water on the surface of the globe, run 
into a river which is called Niagara. About a mile 
from a certain place, this river is three miles in breadth. 
During that one mile the bed is narrowed to one-third 
of the extent, and the fall of the river in that same 
distance is 52 feet; so that the velocity of the water 
both by compression and descent is fearfully great. 
When it comes to this particular place, it takes a 
prodigious leap into a chasm of 167 feet in depth. 
There is the scene. As you stand near the edge of 
the chasm, you take hold of a neighbouring tree to 
save you from falling, for the sight is such that the 
head is soon dizzy, and if unprotected, ruin is almost 
inevitable. One who gazed upon it with " irresistible 
fascination " says that " above the crest of the cataract, 
the water is of a yellow colour, but as it passes it is 
instantly changed into dazzling white. This brilliant 
and dazzling white is as pure and spotless as snow, 
and gives its character to the whole scene. The 



descending waters do not retain a smooth, glassy, 
stream-like surface, but break into crystals as the dew- 
drops of the morning, and are made brilliant and 
sparkling like gems, by the illumination of the sun's 
beams. This magnificent expanse of crystals is next 
seen falling from the precipice in countless myriads ; 
not in confused heaps, but in perfect order, as an 
immense roll of beautiful drapery studded with 
brilliants, and united by the force of some common 
element. The flow is perfectly regular ; and the 
splendid sheet of white and dazzling fluid of gems 
falls in a regular and continued stream. See a 
rock, with a crest three parts of a mile in length and 
170 feet above the level ground. Imagine some 
mysterious power everlastingly rolling from this crest 
a robe of hoar-frost, white, dazzling, pearly, descending 
% like beautiful drapery, festooned and barred, yet regular 
in form, with a long train spread on the level plain 
below, and you will have the best idea of the Falls of 
Niagara. It is like beautiful robes falling from the 
shoulders of a goddess." None will doubt its sub- 
limity, but let none presume to say that it equals the 
enterprise in which we are engaged. 

The Missionary map embraces, not a mere promontory 
or island or continent, but a human world. This world 
is a desert, morally and spiritually — dreary as the 
wilderness — parched as the Arab sands — fruitless as 
the rock, and motionless as the region of death. Fable 
tells us of a wondrous winged horse, which was born 
in the ocean, and when it struck the earth with its 
i'oot, it instantly raised a fountain which irrigated the 
region round about. Now, what fable imagined, we 


have realized. At a voice from heaven the well- 
spring of life started forth iu the midst of this arid 
waste ; and though, in the first instance, the supply was 
limited to a particular country, yet it was constant 
and diffusive. To such an extent did these rills 
increase, that the brook and the river began to flow. 
Judea was inundated ; nor could its boundaries check 
its onward course. In all its majesty and beauty, it 
now rolls along, scattering its pearly riches, making 
the desert verdant, and the wilderness fragrant as the 
rose itself. A sublimity ten thousand times greater 
than that of Niagara will be the subject of angel 
song, for the spirits of universal man shall be washed 
pure in the blood of Christ. 

History presents many instances of the truly sub- 
lime. Take one of them. 

On one of the days of January, 1604, about twenty 
persons were convened in the interior Privy Chamber 
of Hampton Court, presided over by King James, to 
consider " the monster petition " which had been pre- 
sented by the Puritans for the removal of sundry 
superstitions and abuses which had crept into the 
Church. The result of this Conference was the procla- 
mation on March 5th, 1604, of the Act of Uniformity. 
This led to the suspension and ejection of nearly two 
thousand godly ministers, many of whom were treated 
with the utmost cruelty, and some were put to death. 
Those who were able to escape, for the most part fled 
to Holland, where there were English Churches. To 
prevent their flight, however, a decree was issued, for- 
bidding them to go without a special licence from the 
King. Notwithstanding this decree, many made the 


attempt. A large company had arranged to leave 
Boston for Holland ; but the captain betrayed them, 
and they were delivered up to the authorities. Another 
attempt was made between Grimsby and Hull, which 
only partially succeeded ; for only part of the fugitives 
had embarked, when the military came upon them. 
Families were divided. The men were in the vessel, 
and the women ashore. After a tempestuous voyage, 
they reached their destination ; and for eleven years did 
these English exiles dwell in Leyden, under the guid- 
ance of their leader and pastor. For the sake of their 
conscience, they had left their home and property and 
fatherland, and were now about to seek a Country where 
they might worship God according to their own views. 
Having made arrangements with the Plymouth com- 
pany, by united prayer, they agreed that one part should 
go to New England first, and the other follow. They 
bought the vessel Speedwell, and hired the Mayflower 
for the purpose. The parting scene between these 
noble men was touching. Men, women, and children 
accompanied the Pilgrim Fathers — for these they were 
— to the port, and all spent the last night in friendly 
converse and prayer. " Brethren," said their pastor, 
and these were his last words to them, " we are now 
quickly to part from one another, and whether I may 
ever live to see your faces on earth any more, the God 
of heaven only knows; but whether the Lord has 
appointed that or no, I charge you before God and his 
blessed angels, that you follow me no farther than 
you have seen me follow the Lord Jesus Christ." As 
the emigrants left, the others kneeled down by the 
sea-side, and commended them to the care of Heaven. 


After many disasters, the Speedwell returned home, 
while the Mayflovier breasted the Atlantic, " freighted 
with the destinies of a Continent." " On their heroic 
enterprise, the selectest influences of religion seemed 
descending visibly ; while beyond their perilous path 
were hung the rainbow and the western star of empire." 
After a voyage of sixty-three days, they landed upon 
the shores of New England. Half of the first day 
was spent in prayer. In the name of God, they entered 
into a compact to serve Him and love one another. 
Through many years of hardship and danger, they were 
preserved. They rejoiced in their poverty, for God 
had given them rest of spirit And while looking 
back upon Old England with the affection of children, 
they gloried in their deliverance from the oppression 
of a corrupt priesthood and a degraded Crown. This 
is a sublime passage in the world's history, and the 
Pilgrim Fathers will be venerated by the utmost 
posterity But, confessedly grand as are these facts of 
modem history, we have facts and truths of far higher 
sublimity. In our history we read how God became 
a man to save man from hell — how heaven for a 
while lost part of its glory, and earth was honoured 
with the footsteps of the Messiah — how on the Cross 
He died for the human race, and then took His glori- 
fied body to heaven, as the pledge and first-fruits 
of universal man's salvation. It is, moreover, in our 
history, that this system of grace shall be triumphant. 
To Him every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess 
that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Our 
history tells us that the day is coming, when men shall 
need no more to disinherit and expatriate themselves 


for the sake of conscience — when divine truth, free as 
air, pure as the crystal stream, beautiful as the light, 
and immortal as the throne of God, shall be as exten- 
sive as the domain of heaven. Whatever may be the 
outward and relative condition of the nations of the 
earth, there shall be one great sublime feature of like- 
ness in them all, " Violence shall no more be heard in 
thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders ; 
but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates 

The world of philanthropy is rich in instances of the 
sublime. Take the case of John Howard. Born in 
the heart of London, he was designed for the pursuits 
of commerce ; but at the expiration of his apprentice- 
ship, he retired into private life. There were two 
circumstances, however, which introduced him to that 
immortal career of toil and glory, which has led to the 
comfort of thousands and the moral elevation of his 
Country. The first was this: In 1756, when thirty 
years of age, he embarked in a Lisbon packet, in order 
to make the tour of Portugal, when the vessel was taken 
by a French privateer. His sufferings were extreme. 
For nearly two days, he was altogether without water, 
and almost without food. At the Brest Castle, he lay 
six nights upon straw. There, and at other places to 
which he was carried, he saw the cruelties inflicted 
upon his Countrymen. On one day, thirty-six, who 
had died of starvation, were buried in a hole. He 
himself intimates that what he then saw had a power- 
ful influence on his future life. 

The other circumstance was his being appointed to 
the office of Sheriff of Bedfordshire. This brought the 


distress of the County prisoners under his immediate 
notice. His visits to the jail produced such an effect 
on his mind, as to the immorality of the inmates, that 
he inspected the prisons of the neighbouring Counties ; 
and thenceforth devoted himself to the reformation of 
these horrid places. He journeyed through England, 
Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, on his self-imposed and 
philanthropic mission. " He travelled into France, 
Flanders, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland : after- 
wards through the Prussian and Austrian dominions. 
He visited also the capitals of Denmark, Sweden, 
Russia, and Poland, and some cities in Portugal and 
Spain." To some of these places, a second and a third 
time was he prompted by his benevolent heart. His 
objects were, to inquire into the number and condition 
of these European prisoners, to ameliorate their temporal 
lot, to remove disease, to elevate their morals. With 
these purposes solely in view, he spared neither advice 
nor reproof, where either was deemed necessary. The 
Crowned Monarch, as well as the humble jailor, listened 
with interest to his Christian enterprise, and in some 
cases entered effectually into his views. He nobly 
fell, a martyr to his work. Leaving again the land of 
his birth for Russia and Turkey, he left these words 
behind him : " Should it please God to cut off my life 
in the prosecution of this design, let not my conduct 
be uncandidly imputed to rashness or enthusiasm, but 
to a serious, deliberate conviction that I am pursuing 
the path of duty, and to a sincere desire of being made 
an instrument of more extensive usefulness to my 
fellow-creatures than could be expected in the narrower 
circle of a retired life." While visiting a Russian 


hospital, a malignant fever seized him and carried hirn 
off in a few days. But he has his reward in heaven, 
as well as in the embalming of his memory in the 
bosom of a grateful Country. How forcible and true 
are the words of Burke. Howard " visited all Europe, 
not to survey the sumptuousness of palaces or the 
stateliness of temples ; not to make accurate measure- 
ments of the remains of ancient grandeur, nor to form 
a scale of the curiosities of modern art ; not to collect 
medals or to collate mss. ; but to dive into the depths 
of dungeons, to plunge into the infection of hospitals, 
to survey the mansions of sorrow and of pain, to ' take 
the gauge and dimensions of misery, depression, and 
contempt ; ' to remember the forgotten, to attend to the 
neglected, to visit the forsaken, and to compare and 
^collate the distresses of all men in all Countries." 

That were a daring man, who could say that in all 
this there is nothing of sublimity. It perhaps may be 
considered the nearest approach to the greatness and 
grandeur of our enterprise ; but oh, it falls far below 
it. Indeed, ours is the glowing picture, of which this 
is the humble imitation. We tell the story of a Being 
who saw the misery of a world, exposed to death eternal, 
and about to be visited with chains of damnation for 
ever — Who, to save it, bore all the weight of its guilt ; 
and although men treated Him with indignity, and 
spurned His overtures, persisted to love them to the 
very death — Who came, not merely to feed the hungry, 
and clothe the naked, and give eyesight to the blind, 
and feet to the lame, and even to raise the bodies of 
dead men — Who came, not merely to instruct the 
ignorant, and soothe the disconsolate, and make happy 


the wretched ; but to pluck the gem of the spirit from 
its burning, and make it brilb'ant in all the graces of the 
Christian here, and in all the glories of the seraph in 
the world to come. 

Here, then, is the sublimity of our object. Angels 
gaze upon it with intensest interest. Spirits, glorified, 
bend over the battlements of heaven, to watch the 
progress of our movement. Devils tremble in antici- 
pation of our final victory. Difficulties there are in 
the way ; but it is a part of the sublimity of our enter- 
prise, that it scorns and overturns them alL We are 
joining hands with Heaven, in the most stupendous 
work which the history of eternity records. We have 
already as much of encouragement as the case demands; 
and for the future we hang upon the word of Him 
who cannot lie : " The earth shall be filled with the 
knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters 
cover the sea." 




ANY man may well consider it an honour to take 
part in the proceedings of this Society, which 
seeks to bless the world. Founded at a most opportune 
period of our Country's history, its origin was a provi- 
dence, and its progress has been a triumph. All honoui 
to the noble-minded "Welshman — and let the name oi 
Thomas Charles never be forgotten — who in 1802 was 
so impressed with the spiritual ignorance of his parish, 
that he journeyed from his humble manse to London, 
to take counsel with some devoted Christians as to the 
propriety and possibility of establishing a Bible Society 
for his own little Country. Though the principality 
may be now regarded as a tiny spot, when compared 
with the vast superficies over which the Society's 
operations extend, it was a grand idea. I can con- 
ceive of this good Thomas Charles being startled by 
the boldness of his own thought, and fearing that the 
project might be regarded as chimerical and visionary. 
But he found in London men of kindred spirit, and of 
even larger heart ; for his own proposition was met by 
the challenge: " If a Bible Society for Wales, why not 
have one for the whole world ? " The good and zealous 



Welshman saw no reason why, and hence arose the 
British and Foreign Bible Society. 

I. It is no reflection on this institution to say that 
it had a humble origin. Nay, the very circumstance is 
itself an indication that it is in the right succession. 
Gigantic results have small beginnings. Where does 
the majestic river take its rise ? Far away from its 
source, your eye can scarcely cross it It bears more 
than a faint resemblance to the sea, as the bark lies 
gallantly on its bosom, or moves upon its swell into 
or out of port. Its rippling surge and constant flow 
whisper into your ear thoughts of silent power. Its 
waters wash the banks, and kiss the flowers which 
decorate its bounds ; while the verdure and beauty of 
the neighbouring greensward proclaim its presence, and 
fertile inundations. As you gaze upon the waters you 
say to your companion, Where is the source of this 
noble river ? And he says, " Come along with me." 
You board the vessel, draw up the anchor, spread the 
sails, catch the breeze, and you go on, and on, and on. 
You still see beauty on the banks, and hear the bird- 
ihimes from the groves. But by and by, the crossing 
is perceptibly narrower ; and the keel of the vessel 
shaves the bed of the river. You now drop anchor 
and lower your boat. You take the oars, and glide 
away again on the breast of the water, and you go up, 
and up, and up. You can now touch the margin. The 
branches of the trees on either side well-nigh meet in 
the centre ; and thus embowered, as in some fairyland, 
you move on a little longer, until you come to a 
mountain gorge. You leave the boat, and ascend the 
acclivity, keeping as close as the brushwood will let 


you to the narrowing stream ; another lesser gorge, and 
another, and another, until at length you can get up 
no farther, for you behold a little body of water 
gushing out of the mouth of a hollow glacier. You 
stand in dumb surprise for a moment ; then take off 
your hat, and, with a thrill of joy, turn round and 
throw your eye down the rugged glens, and along the 
smiling plains, and towards the spot from whence you 
started on your exploration. 

Just so is it with this Society. In a little room 
connected with the London Tavern, a few good people 
met on the 7th March, 1804, to consider this proposi- 
tion from Wales. The resolve was taken that that 
land should be supplied ; that England should as far 
as possible be flooded with Bibles ; that Christendom 
should be visited ; and that as this was the Book for 
the world, the whole world should have it. It was 
the most magnificent thought which had struggled into 
birth for eighteen centuries. We gaze with pleasur- 
able excitement upon that little room, as the natal 
chamber and cradle of this the most lovely daughter 
of Christianity. 

II. Then having such an object, what has been done 
for the attainment of it ? Those noble men did not 
content themselves with resolutions, but immediately 
set about the work. Fifty years ago, there were only 
four millions of copies of the Scriptures in the entire 
world, and about half that number were supposed to 
be in England. Now the issues of this Society alone 
are more than thirty millions ; while during the past 
year, in England and Wales there have been at work 


3394 societies and associations; 2273 public meet- 
ings have been held ; nearly half a million of copies 
Slave been issued from the depot in London ; and the 
'ntire circulation of the year has reached nearly a 
million and a half. Then mark the sphere of this 
Society's operations in our own Country. It goes to 
;he palace, and our noble Queen not only lends to it 
ler illustrious name, but makes the royal household 
;he centre of a large distribution, for it is well known 
;hat hundreds of Bibles are sent by the foreign residents 
it Court to their native lands. And while our gracious 
Sovereign condescends to patronize this Institution, she 
s the first to acknowledge, that to this Bible she is 
ndebted for personal happiness, for domestic bliss, for 
he purity of her Court, for the loyalty of her people, 
ind for the stability of her throne. It finds its way 
the houses of the aristocracy, where the Bible is as 
nuch needed as in the lowliest cottages. It sheds a 
ustre upon noble birth ; and never does Lord Shaftes- 
)ury look more noble, than when presiding over the 
Annual Meeting of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society. It is enthroned in the houses of the business 
ind working classes, who are the strength and safe- 
guard of the British Constitution. The Bible is found 
m the counter of the merchant, in the hall of the 
■xchaiige, in the hotel, in the waiting-room of the 
tation, in the tent of the soldier and cabin of the 
ailor, in the court-house, the police office, the work- 
louse, the ragged school, the prison cell. It is found 
n the bosom of the factory girl, and in the pocket 
»f the ploughboy. England is the land of Bibles, 
he centre of light, the almoner of Jehovah, the 


lightning-rod of humanity, and the succourer of the 

Then forget not what has been done for other 
Countries. This Society has thrown more than three 
millions of copies over France, more than two millions 
over Germany, and with the results secured by other 
kindred Institutions, there has been a Continental 
circulation of perhaps nine or ten millions. 

There are more than 4000 Branch Societies abroad, 
all of which are doing a noble work. Between two 
and three millions of copies have been distributed in 
India. The American Bible Society has issued nearly 
ten millions. A hundred and fifty languages have 
been mastered, and into them has the Word of God 
been translated. The Scriptures have been made 
accessible to 600 millions of the human race. 

III. What a powerful motive to action do we find 
in the adaptation of this Book to all those to whom 
we send it ! The Koran of Mahomet is too contra- 
dictory and disgusting for even some of Mahomet's 
followers. The Shasters of India are read by the 
Brahmins, and in many cases disbelieved ; but what 
other effect would they have upon an Englishman 
than either to excite his risibilities, or command his 
scorn ? They lack adaptation. But what order of 
mind, or power of intellect, or shape of head, or shade 
of colour, or feature of condition, is not met by the 
inspired volume ? Newton in philosophy, Locke in 
science, Milton in poetry, Peel in statesmanship, and 
Victoria in Queendom, — all bow in adoring admira- 
tion before the Book of God. 


But look at another class — a class far, far down in 
the scale of humanity. See you that drunkard, stagger- 
ing through your streets, and defiling the atmo- 
sphere by his impurity as he passes ? Look at that 
bloodshot eye, those blanched and swollen cheeks, his 
dishevelled hair, and filthy, disordered dress. His very 
breath is poison. Eeason is drowned ; and you hear 
nothing from him, but either the song of the maniac, 
or the growl of the beast He has brought his father's 
grey hairs with sorrow to the grave, and he is now 
moving towards a dwelling — not a home — to find 
a house full of misery, his children in rags, and his 
wife in tears. 

Nay, I see a more pitiable spectacle than even this. 
By the side of the wall in that narrow lane, leading 
from the main street, there is lying apparently a life- 
less body; but the hootings and jibes of half a hundred 
children tell you the woman is not dead, but stupefied. 
You go towards her, not knowing whether pity or 
indignation rises uppermost in your mind. The eyes 
are alternately closed and opened wide, rolling in 
burning madness ; the head is uncovered, the dress is 
torn and dripping with the rain ; and oh, heaven ! them 
is an infant lying on her breast, drinking the poison of 
the dram-shop through its own parent Oh, woman, a 
mother's heart has wrung for thee, and tears havn 
chased themselves down a brother's cheek! But is the 
Bible adapted to such as these ? Yes, blessed be God. 
Listen to its warnings : " The drunkard shall not 
inherit the kingdom of God." " Woe unto them that 
rise up early in the morning, that they may follow 
strong drink ; that continue until night till wine 


» __ 

inflame them." Listen to its exhortations : " Be not 
drunk with- wine wherein is excess; but be filled with 
the Spirit." " Look not thou upon the wine when it 
is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup At 

the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an 
adder." The Bible offers mercy to the drunkard ; leads 
him to the fountains of living waters ; and can finally 
bring him to drink of the pure river of the water of 
life, clear as crystal. 

This inspired Book adapts itself to all the relation- 
ships of life. It teaches the duties of husbands and- 
wives, parents and children, masters and servants, kings 
and subjects. It tells the merchant, that while he is 
not slothful in business, he must be fervent in spirit, 
serving the Lord. It teaches the Senator wisdom, and 
declares to the Monarch that the throne is established 
«in righteousness. It adapts itself to the national, as 
well as to the social and individual mind. 

So with the inhabitants of other Countries. 

IV We claim for the Society a generous support, 
because of the principles on which it is founded, the 
first of which is this : " The wider circulation of the 
Scriptures, without note or comment." There was in- 
finite wisdom displayed in the Catholic basis on which 
the Institution was reared. Any inkling of sectarian- 
ism would have been its ruin. And may the day 
never dawn upon it, which shall witness the removal 
of this broad foundation ! The man who would 
attempt it, is as great an enemy to the world, as the 
designer of the Gunpowder Plot was an enemy to 
the Protestantism of England : he who conveyed the 


gunpowder into the cellars under the House of Parlia- 
ment was no greater a traitor to his Country, than he 
who could thus place combustible material under this 
goodly fabric is a traitor to the Bible. And I have a 
hope that if any Guy Fawkes should ever be bold 
enough to undertake so dangerous a business, the pro- 
vidence of God would bring his dark designs to light 
before they were consummated ; and most assuredly he 
would deserve, if it were not beneath so glorious an 
enterprise, to be burnt in effigy once every year, as an 
instruction and warning to posterity. 

To maintain the Catholic character and the very 
existence of this Society, the Bible must go forth 
without note or comment. What effect the millennium 
may have upon the minds of good men, we do not 
know ; perhaps none at all. But it will be a wonder- 
ful thing, if in that happy period men should see all 
alike. If Episcopalian and Presbyterian and In- 
dependent should have precisely the same views of 
Church government ; if Calvinists and Arminians should 
believe alike ; if Baptist and paedo-baptist should 
attach the same meaning to the word baptize; and if the 
Society of Friends should agree with all of them : that 
will be a memorable day, and we should like to see it. 
But certainly it has not dawned yet We must deal 
with men and systems as we find them. To give up 
the principle of " without note or comment," would be 
to abandon our mooring ; and the vessel would soon be 
swallowed up in the whirlpool, or dashed to pieces upon 
the rock. 

This is not to be regarded as a bar to the critical 
study of the Scriptures. We don't say to the Biblical 



student, "You shall not give to the world the results 
of your patient and prayerful investigation : " we 
rather honour his zeal, and ask a blessing on his toil. 
"We don't take the commentator by the throat, and 
treat him as an enemy, because he has consumed the 
midnight oil, and worn his knees bare in prayer, in 
trying to comprehend and teach others the meaning of 
that Book whose price is beyond rubies : we would 
rather lie at his feet, in grateful acknowledgment of 
the good which he has done to mankind. Nay, we do 
not say to the worthy medical doctor, " You shall 
not publish your twenty thousand emendations!' We 
say, " Do as you like ; but ive won't publish them." 
Oh, we have unlimited confidence in the simple, full, 
perfect, inspired, self-interpreting Bible. " The Word 
of God is quick and powerful." 

V We honour this Society because of the spirit 
in which its operations are carried on — the spirit of 
dependence upon God. The last report begins with 
the bold and welcome sentence, " In the name of God 
will we set up our banners." And alas for us, if we 
trust in our machinery, and forget God ! This thought 
is eloquently illustrated by a living author : " Here is 
a noble ship. Her masts are all in, and her canvas is 
all shaken out ; yet no ripple runs by her side, nor foam 
flashes from her bows, nor motion has she but what 
she receives from the alternate swell and sinking of 
the wave. Her machinery is complete. The forests 
have masted her ; in many a broad yard of canvas, a 
hundred looms have given her wings ; her anchor has 
been weighed to the rude sea chant ; the needle 


trembles on her deck : with his eye on that friend — 
unlike worldly friends, true in storm as in calm — the 
helmsman stands impatient by the wheel; and when, 
as men bound to a distant shore, the crew have said 
farewell to wives and children, why lies she there 
over the selfsame ground, rising with the flowing and 
falling with the ebbing tide ? The cause is plain. 
They want a wind to raise that drooping pennon and 
fill those empty sails. They look to heaven — and so 
they may — the skies only can help them here. At 
length their prayer is heard. The pennon flutters 
at the mast-head ; spirits of the air sing aloft upon 
the yards ; the winds whistle through the rattling 
cordage ; and now, like a steed touched by the rider's 
spur, she starts, bounds forward, plunges through the 
waves ; and, heaven's wind her moving power, is off 
and away, amid blessings and prayers, to the laud she 
is chartered for." 

" In the name of God will we set up our banners." 
The mighty conflict in which this Society occupies so 
distinguished a position is not between man and man ; 
the world's gory battle-field is not ours ; the weapons 
of our warfare are not carnal ; our victories are blood- 
less ; the Captain of our salvation is the Prince of 
I'eace ; and, as port after port is taken, and every suc- 
cessive height is gained, we plant our standards on the 
eminence, give the banner to the breeze, and as it 
floats over our ransomed nature, the world may read 
its inscription : " Not unto us, Lord, not unto us, 
but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for 
thy truth's sake." 

Young men of this age, you are told by those who 


discard the Bible to abandon the trammels of religion, 
to rise above all creeds, to assert your independency of 
mind, and get away to some far-off eminence, where 
you will breathe a purer atmosphere, and look down upon 
the fogs and mists of the religious world below. But 
we tell you there are no higher mountains than those 
of the Bible, and there are none so high. The men 
who give you this advice never climbed them ; or if 
they have, they give themselves the lie. Try for your- 
selves ; climb these steeps ; ascend the acclivity ; tug 
up the hill. You will be well repaid by and by. Let 
your watchword be " Excelsior ! " Look at the noble 
spirits who are in advance of you. Strain every nerve ; 
stretch every sinew ; there's a glorious prospect before 
you. And having gained the summit, you shall revel 
for a while in its beauties ; and then, like Moses, with 
your spiritual eye undimmed, and strength unabated, 
this Nebo shall be your death-mount ; and from its 
light and glory, an angel-wing shall bear you upward, 
higher, higher, till caught in the Saviour's arms He 
seats you by His side, and shares His glory with you 
for ever. 



THE solemnities of to-day may be regarded both as 
the completion of your ministerial probation and 
your formal introduction to the work of your life. 
By a vote of the Conference, you have, after several 
years of varied trial, been brought into full connec- 
tion with that Body. This Ordination Service has 
put the seal upon your call ; and it is now my 
honour to bid you welcome to all the rights and 
privileges of the Wesleyan Methodist Ministry, and 
my duty to urge upon you its weighty responsibilities. 
Permit me at the outset to say two things : First, 
that I make no pretence to originality of either 
thought or expression. It is my wish to put before 
you the wise counsels and examples of godly men, as 
well as the results of my own experience. I have 
not roamed the fields of sentiment and contempla- 
tion, that I might exhibit a few carefully culled 
flowers for your admiration. I have not traversed 
the shores of speculation, that I might present to you 
some of the prettier shells which have recently been 
thrown up from the depths of human thought. And 
though I have gone through some of the wards and 
chambers of the armoury of truth, it has not been 
merely to trace the history of past struggles, but to 




gather up and put into your hands a few bright, 
sharp weapons, that you may be the better girded for 
" the battle of the great day of God Almighty." For 
be assured that it is no mere brilliant parade or 
review day on which you are entering. The stoutest 
warrior among you might well quail before the serried 
ranks of the enemy, were it not for the assurance that 
" greater is he that is in you than he that is in the 
world " (1 John iv. 4). 

The second observation is, that I shall use great 
plainness of speech. It is far from my wish to grieve, 
either by word or act, any of those whom the Lord 
loveth. The old Methodist motto, "The friends of 
all, the enemies of none," is as dear to us to-day as it 
ever was. Without stint or hesitation, we offer to all 
Evangelical Churches, in this and in every land, the 
right hand of fellowship. Ecclesiastical controversy, 
except where duty calls for it, comes not within our 
purpose. Bather than employ our time and energies 
in defending our position as a section of the Christian 
Church, we should prefer to go on with the work 
which Providence and our honoured Fathers have 
committed to us — viz., to spread Scriptural holiness 
throughout the land and throughout the world. 
But our conviction is, that the time has come when, 
while recognising the Scriptural claims of other 
Churches, we should, with calm and modest confi- 
dence, assert and defend our own. I feel as if it were 
due to you, who have sought admission into this 
Ministry, to assure you that, in our judgment, the orders 
which you have received are as valid and Scriptural 
as those of any of the Churches of Christendom. 


And now with regard to the work to which you 
are called. You will find your duties both multiplied 
and onerous ; it may be that in moments of depression 
and temptation they will appear crushing. But you 
will never forget that the promise of the Divine 
presence runs alongside the Commission ; and though 
the command as to duty may press heavily upon you, 
the assurance that He who sends you is always with 
you will be your solace and strength. 

Your pastoral relationships will demand constant 
care and prayerfulness ; and in them all you must seek 
to be examples of piety. The Church members com- 
mitted to your care have a right to all the wealth of 
affection which you can give. In the Quarterly visita- 
tion of the Classes, you must fix your thought, as 
far as possible, upon every case, and not be content 
with general and commonplace advices. The families 
of your people will have constant claims upon you. 
Let your visits be those of Christian Pastors, and not 
of gossips. Let the parents feel that ym have an 
interest in those in whom they are interested. 
Always have a smile for the little ones; show to the 
young, that whoever may be friendless, they are not, 
if you are near them ; and do not forget the servants, 
either in your prayers or exhortations. 

You will not suppose that your pastoral work is 
done, when you have visited the families of the 
Members. The congregations to which you will 
regularly minister are probably four times as many 
as the Church Members ; and who are their Pastors if 
you are not ? In one sense they claim even more 
attention than others ; for they especially need to be 


urged to decision. You will find among them great 
respect for your office ; and, for the most part, a 
willingness to receive personal instruction : and from 
this class you may reap a rich harvest. The children 
of the congregations will repay your toil : meet them 
in classes as circumstances may permit, and let them 
both see and feel that their happiness is yours. 
Look out and gather the young men ; and feed them 
with mental and spiritual food. Do not suppose, be- 
cause many of them are migratory, and will soon pass 
from your eye, that you cannot influence them for good. 
The seed sown in a brief and friendly conversation 
may take root, and — though you may never see them 
more — spring and bear rich, ripe fruit. One word from 
you may thus influence the destinies of thousands. 

You will frequently be regarded as the confidential 
advisers of your people. They will pour into your 
ear their anxieties and wishes, and will look to you 
for genial sympathy and counsel. You must give par- 
ticular attention to the sick and the dying. Bereaved 
families will expect condolence and sympathy, both 
at the funerals of their loved ones, and in the pastoral 
visits which you will afterwards make. 

Cultivate heartily the affection of your Colleagues. 
Be frank and open-hearted, and give to them your 
confidence. Stand by the side of your Superintendent, 
and let no false notion of independence produce shy- 
ness and distrust. Seek to help him in the admini- 
stration of discipline ; and, always remembering the 
" Twelve Rules of a Helper," act as faithful sons in 
the gospel, until you shall yourselves be invested 
with the higher responsibilities of your office. 


Some of you may have heavy public obligations to 
fulfil. In the carrying out of our connexional system, 
a few may be called to special service ; it may be, a 
few others to literary labour. But it will behove all 
of you to study with care our connexional documents, 
and to make yourselves masters of the general prin- 
ciples and polity of the Body 

Maintain friendly relations with other Christian 
churches. I know that the notion is abroad that we 
are too much shut up among ourselves, and care 
but little as to what is going on around us. Those 
who say this do not know the extent of your work. 
But, as far as circumstances will permit, take a friendly 
interest in, and give a friendly hand to, all those who 
love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. 

And finally, here, it does not follow that, because you 
are Methodist preachers, you are to take no interest 
in public questions. If you accept my counsel, you 
will sedulously avoid all political confederations and 
party politics. They will eat into your soul " as doth 
a canker." But there are great Protestant and Evan- 
gelical subjects constantly rising up, with which you 
should be well acquainted, and concerning which you 
should seek to form a careful and upright judgment. 

But there is one crowning subject which I desire 
to urge upon you. Whatever a candidate be or be 
not, if he is to be acceptable to the Methodist people 
and to the Conference, he must be able to pkeach. 
Amiability of disposition, personal godliness, high intel- 
lectual endowments, mental culture, great administrative 
powers, large gifts of eloquence, and encyclopedic stores 
of knowledge, are not sufficient. All these will help 



the Minister in his work ; but if he cannot preach, he 
is not called to serve with us. 

Prayer may never be restrained before God ; praise 
waiteth for the Lord in Zion ; the reading of Holy 
Scripture is essential ; — but, after all, the truth requires 
exposition and application ; and once more we repeat, 
" that without the pulpit, the Gospel, unknown to 
the masses, would become a science, an archaeology, a 
system, and no longer a worship." Rightly is the 
pulpit designated " the throne of truth." 

Without attempting any formal or succinct exposi- 
tion of a text of Scripture, I will hang up before you 
a cluster of texts, which may secure your thought, and 
be your joy, your stimulus, and your strength, during 
the whole of your public life : — 

Isa. lii. 7 : " How beautiful upon the mountains are 
the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that pub- 
lisheth peace ; that bringeth good tidings of good, that 
publisheth salvation ; that saith unto Zion, Thy God 
reigneth ! " 

Mark xvi. 15: " Go ye into all the world, and preach 
the gospel to every creature." 

Acts viii. 4 : " Therefore they that were scattered 
abroad went everywhere preaching the word." 

1 Cor. i. 17, 18, 21 : "For Christ sent me not to 
baptize, but to preach the gospel : not with wisdom of 
words, lest the cross of Christ should be of none effect. 
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish 
foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the 
power of God. It pleased God by the foolishness 
of preaching to save them that believe." 

2 Tim. iv. 2 : " Preach the word ; be instant in 


season, out of season ; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all 
long-suffering and doctrine." 

Eev. xiv. 6 : " And I saw another angel fly in the 
midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach 
unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, 
and kindred, and tongue, and people." 

There are three topics for consideration, which, in 
simple phrase, may be designated — 

I. Preaching. 
II. Methodist Preaching. 
III. Your Preaching. 

I. The first is preaching. By this word we mean, 
the oral proclamation of the truth — the public utter- 
ance by human lips to human listeners of the message 
from heaven. This is rightly said to be " an ordinance 
of God, rather than the performance of a man." 
And as " the ear has supremacy over the eye, as the 
organ of faith in this dispensation," so "preaching, 
put in its proper place, is the very first of Christian 

That it is to be so regarded is certain from the 
inspired records. An angel was sent to Cornelius, not 
to preach to him the gospel, but to give directions as 
to where the human preacher might be found. Saul 
of Tarsus, on his way to Damascus, was stricken to the 
ground. A voice from heaven was heard, telling the 
affrighted persecutor, not how the needed mercy might 
be secured, but to what human instructor he should go. 

This ordination of preaching is a mystery. How 
it is " that a word should be the bridge across which 


spirit passes to hold communion with spirit," unaided 
reason cannot understand. 

The history of preaching is almost as old as the 
race. In the days of Enoch there was prophesying. 
In patriarchal times, the worship of God was eminently 
a family service. Each patriarch took his place at the 
head of the household and led its devotions. But on 
certain public occasions, whole families were assembled 
for exhortation and prayer. Noah is emphatically 
called " a preacher of righteousness." Abraham com- 
manded " his household after him," and secured thereby 
the divine benediction. Jacob publicly denounced 
idolatry, and exhorted the people to unite with him in 
the worship of the true God; while Melchisedec may 
be regarded as the preacher of his time, announcing in 
blessed prophecy the glad tidings of righteousness and 
peace. Moses stands forth as the next great figure 
in the history. He was raised up by God to be the 
expounder of the Law, and his public utterances were 
frequent and effective. Joshua was full of the spirit 
of wisdom ; and under its influence he declared to the 
tribes at Shechem the will of God. Solomon, the prince, 
and Amos, the herdsman, both publicly protested against 
pagan vice and idolatry, and denounced in unmeasured 
terms the Jewish apostasy of their times. 

Buildings for public instruction were reared in 
Naioth, Jericho, and Bethel. Elijah spent many of 
his Sabbaths at Bethel, and preached to the assembled 
multitudes. Schools of the prophets are said to have 
been established by Samuel. " The pupils were 
trained up in a knowledge of religion and habits of 
devotion. These schools were nurseries, and from 


them God did choose, from time to time, his appointed 

During the Babylonish captivity, preaching was 
extensively cultivated ; and to the success which 
attended it " we may attribute the re-conversion of 
the Jews to the belief and worship of one God, a 
conversion that remains to this day." After the 
captivity, powerful preachers, such as Zerrubbabel, 
Haggai, Nehemiah, and Ezra, all filled with holy 
zeal, denounced sin, and enforced godliness, as they 
expounded the Scriptures. Numerous buildings for 
worship were erected. The sacrifice was still offered 
in the Temple ; but the Synagogue became the place 
for public teaching. A new era in the history of 
preaching here began. Between the return from the 
captivity and the opening of the Christian dispensation, 
the service of the Synagogue assumed greater import- 
ance. Probably the first Christian congregations met 
in buildings which were so designated ; and indeed the 
Apostle James uses the very word to define a Christian 
assembly (Jas. il 2). In these synagogues divine 
service — consisting chiefly of prayer, the reading and 
exposition of the Scriptures, the benediction of the 
priest and the loud Amen of the people — was regularly 
conducted. There was also preaching in the open air. 
The record of Ezra's celebrated sermon in the eighth 
chapter of Nehemiah is beautiful beyond description. 

John the Baptist was one of the most vehement and 
powerful of human preachers. He was specially raised 
up to prepare the way for the Messiah Himself. The 
Divine Teacher proclaimed His own Gospel, and com- 
missioned His Apostles publicly to preach it. The 


early Fathers sustained and extended the power of the 
pulpit. For five centuries at least men were found, 
who in burning words proclaimed the truth as it is in 
Jesus. Chrysostom in the Greek Church, and Augus- 
tine in the Latin, occupied the first position of their 
age, as public teachers. For many years during and 
after their time, special attention was devoted to pulpit 
oratory. When, however, the Papacy arose in its 
hideous proportions, a sad change took place. The 
power of the pulpit gave way to stage mimicry and 
the follies of the Mass. Popery in its powerful days 
always frowned on preaching. It put the mighty 
preacher Savonarola to death ; and even at this day 
the echoes of its blasphemies against, and curses upon, 
the faithful Heralds of the Gospel for many a century 
%re only just dying away. Romanism has wielded an 
Immense power at the altar, and exercised a fearful 
influence in the confessional, but until very recent 
times, it has never encouraged the Preacher. 

The Eeformation of the sixteenth Century was 
produced chiefly by the revived ordinance of preaching. 
Martin Luther became a Prince in the pulpit, and his 
powerful sermons shook the Papal throne. Perhaps 
John Wycliffe ought to be called the first great 
preacher in England ; while Calvin took one of the 
foremost positions on the Continent of Europe. The 
English Church has produced a succession of glorious 
preachers. British Nonconformity has nobly main- 
tained the ability of the pulpit; and Methodism, on 
both sides of the Atlantic, for more than a century, has 
been well represented in the ranks of powerful and 
successful preachers. 


Among the varied modes of preaching, two may be 
called generic. In former times these were ruggedly 
designated, declaring and postulating. In modern 
phraseology they are called topical and expository. 

That which is termed the topical consists in the 
selection and treatment of a text as presenting a 
distinct subject which is often stated " in the form of 
a proposition ; and then the text has no further part 
in the sermon, but the subject is divided and treated 
according to its own nature, just as it would be if 
not derived from a text" at all. Some writers on 
homiletics maintain that the advantages of this mode 
are important " It ensures unity ; " " it trains the 
preacher's mind to logical analysis ;" " it is more con- 
vincing " — especially to the cultivated hearer ; and 
" gives more manifest completeness " to the sermon. 

The expository mode has sometimes been abused. 
A long text has been selected ; word after word, and 
clause after clause, have been hurriedly expounded ; 
and a very superficial production has been the result. 
This, however, is the abuse, and not the right use, of 
exposition. We believe that men are to be saved 
through Bible Truth. The business of a preacher, 
therefore, is to bring out, and present to the congrega- 
tion, the mind of the Spirit. It is his work to repro- 
duce, so far as he can ascertain it, the exact meaning 
which the Holy Ghost put into the word when it was 
inspired. Looking, then, at the facts of history and 
the necessities of men, we cannot but believe that 
expository preaching has decided advantages. 

The Pulpit has always had cynical critics ; and men 
are not now wanting, who bring heavy impeachments 


against its ability and adaptation. Sometimes, no doubt, 
the complaint is well founded, and as far as there is 
truth in the charge, it behoves the minister to ponder, 
pray, and amend. But we cannot listen to these 
objections without an earnest protest. Our conviction 
is, that while there is much to deplore in the heretical 
teaching of many pulpits, there has not been a more effec- 
tive ministry than there is now, since the days of the 
Apostles. It is felt, on all hands, that whether a preacher 
be learned or not, whether he be eloquent or not, 
whether his style be polished or rugged, whether he 
be an expositor or an essayist, he must be a living 

In reviewing, then, the history of the pulpit, you 
will mark its close association with the destinies 
of the race. It has many sad confessions to make ; 
.but, with all its failings, it is the principal means of 
preserving and extending godliness. The weal of the 
world demands the maintenance of its purity and 
power. It has had its dangers, and never were they, 
with regard to doctrine, greater than at this moment. 
'Tis true the flippant, gay, effeminate, otto-of-roses, 
soulless preacher of Cowper's time is becoming a thing 
of the past, and will by and by be a fossil. The 
coarse invective and vituperation of even a quarter of 
a century ago have well-nigh passed away. But the 
perils of the pulpit were never more imminent. Give 
it what name you please — philosophy, science, ration- 
alism, scepticism, free-thought, independence — there 
are men who are making the Protestant pulpit the 
vehicle of downright infidelity. The spirituality of 
the Gospel is assailed, and the truth with which 


during the past century it has been robed, is in many 
instances exchanged for falsehood. We should be 
sorry to see all Christian Ministers using the same 
manner, or wearing the same garb, or even employing 
the same forms of worship ; but with friendly dissimi- 
larities of style and order, we do intensely long that 
the same grand old Gospel should be proclaimed, and 
that every pulpit should be clothed with the power 
sent down from heaven. 

II. Methodist Preaching. — Yours is a noble 
ancestry. I know that it has been the wont of 
many to cast reflections upon the early Methodist 
preachers and their successors, as unintelligent, un- 
cultured, and illiterate men. Never in the history 
of the Churches was reflection more uncalled for 
or unjust. Let me, however, do an act of justice 
here. With a few notable exceptions, those who 
have brought this charge against our fathers are not 
the thoughtful and scholarly men either of the pre- 
sent or past generation. The writers who have been 
sufficiently cultured to take a broad and philosophic 
view of history, readily acknowledge that the circum- 
stances of the times demanded precisely the class 
of labourers to which the early Methodist workers 
belonged. We give honour to some of the best 
authors of the nineteenth century, who have done 
homage to the strong-mindedness, zeal, and devotion 
of John Wesley's coadjutors and their successors ; 
while we with difficulty repress our indignation at 
those who persistently repeat this charge of ignorance. 
We repel their railing accusation ; and assert in the 


light of history that no set of men could have been 
found better qualified than they were for the work 
they had to do. 

Two preliminary observations are required — one 
having reference to the times themselves, and the 
other to the wisdom of God as seen in the adaptation 
of human instrumentalities. You know the religious 
condition of England, when the star of Wesley rose. 
The pulpits of the land were disfigured by absolute 
impurity of life, or dishonoured by a cold morality. 
Both in the Establishment and out of it, piety was 
probably at a lower ebb than it had been since the 
Reformation. The morals of the land were perfectly 
appalling. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales might with 
accuracy have been reproduced; while everything 
seemed to indicate that Britain had well-nigh filled up 
the measure of its iniquity. 

Will you think for a moment, and tell me what sort 
of men Providence would be likely to use to rouse the 
slumbering nation and commence a great revival of 
religion ? Would the men of polite literature, whose 
pulpit essays were both as clear and cold as an icicle, 
go to the very depths of the population's carelessness, 
and set the pulses of the nation a-stirring ? Can you be- 
lieve that men of very refined and cultivated taste would 
be the likeliest to secure the attention of the mentally 
and morally besotted crowds to be found both in town 
and country ? To whom did the great Master Himself 
go for agents, when men were wanted to take the 
newly-formed system of Christianity throughout the 
towns and villages of Judea ? Did He go to the learned 
men of the Sanhedrim, or doctors of the law ? Did He 


not rather, with a single exception, take men from 
among the common people, to preach to those with 
whom they had common sympathies ? And were not 
these the men who overthrew Judaism, and shook the 
world ? Without desiring to establish any strict 
analogy here, we may certainly learn a lesson. 

It was not John Wesley's sagacity, so much as cir- 
cumstances, which led him to employ the humble, ear- 
nest, and, we will say, grand men whom Providence 
brought within his reach. Are we still told that they 
were ignorant ? Would that the men who make the 
charge knew as much as they did ! The questions 
are, Did they know Christ ? Did they know the 
Bible ? Did they know human nature ? We say that 
they were eminently godly men, and wherever they 
went could both sing and preach, — 

" What we have felt and seen, 
With confidence we tell ; 
And publish to the sons of men 
The signs infallible." 

It is true that they were but little acquainted with 
schools of philosophy ; their scientific attainments were 
very limited ; and they perhaps knew nothing of works 
of art. But they knew the Bible better than most of 
the preachers, or even the prelates, of their time. They 
could tell, with amazing power, the sad tale of ruin by 
sin, and the glowing story of redemption by Christ. 
With the Scriptures in their hand, they could always 
show a poor sinner the short way to the Cross ; and 
thoroughly furnished out of this storehouse, they 
sowed the seed of the word of God broadcast over the 
land. And though in the ordinary sense of the word 


they knew but little of metaphysics, they did study, 
and to a large extent understand, the moral condition 
of their neighbours, and they carried the truth right 
home to the heart. With it they seized the con- 
science, and by it they transformed the life. 

Let it be known that we have never claimed for 
our Fathers great literary distinction. The work to be 
done did not require more than a few men of exten- 
sive mental culture. As much brain-power was pro- 
bably exercised in the establishment of Methodism as 
in the founding of any Church in history ; but only a 
small part of that power was required for authorship. 
All that was required was forthcoming. John Wesley, 
the Founder of the Societies, brought to bear upon his 
work a logical and thoroughly cultured mind, and made 
prodigious use of the press ; giving to the world, within 
a period of fifty-eight years, more than 350 separate 
publications, chiefly original, of various sizes, and on 
a large range of topics — historical, theological, bio- 
graphical, educational, and philanthropic. Charles 
Wesley was a man of great intellectual capacity, of 
vast preaching power, and the noblest hymnologist of 
the eighteenth century. John Fletcher's works will 
live as long as ever controversy is required ; and after 
that will live, as a memorial of keen insight, logical 
acuteness, stern denunciation, and withal seraphic piety. 
Dr. Coke, with a heart as large as the world, possessed 
a cultivated taste and a ready pen. All these were 
men of renown, and gave to early Methodism the 
literature which it required. They were succeeded by 
giants in preaching, and authors of no mean reputation. 
Dr. Adam Clarke, for varied learning and extensive 


scholarship, had few equals and scarcely any superiors 
in his generation. Joseph Benson, who was a pro- 
found thinker, a thorough theologian, and an over- 
powering preacher of saving truth, was an author whose 
valuable writings have done much to establish the 
theology of Methodism. Eichard Watson, whose erect 
and noble form only partially represented the great 
soul within him, was one of the lights of his age ; and 
his majestic thoughts, clothed in majestic words, will 
live as long as the English language. 

Without further reference to particular names, let 
me say that the tabulated results of the literary labours 
of a century and a quarter are by no means insigni- 
ficant. A few years ago a volume was published 
designated Outlines of Wesleyan Bibliography ; or, 
A Record of Methodist Literature from the Beginning. 
This book does not profess to be an exhaustive cata- 
logue, nor does it include the labours of the laymen 
of Methodism, which are far from being small or unim- 
portant. It contains, however, the record of nearly 
2700 separate works, some of which are at this moment 
text-books in our Universities, others are distinguished 
by profound learning and research, and nearly the 
whole of them have a directly religious aim. 

We return now to the thought that Providence 
neither intended nor ordained that a large number of 
highly cultivated minds should be employed in the 
establishment of Methodism. A surplus of power was 
not expended in one direction, when it was needed in 
another. A larger number of literates and a less num- 
ber of evangelists, would have been altogether out of 
harmony with the divine plan. Suppose now that 


several of the first scholars of the Universities had heen 
associated with Mr. Wesley, and every one of them 
had undertaken to prepare a large treatise on some 
branch of theology, we say without hesitation that 
they could not by labours of that description have done 
the service which the age required. I can conceive of 
a few of the savants of Oxford meeting in some college 
chamber, and seriously framing a scheme for the evan- 
gelization of the country. They agree to send the 
ablest of their number into different parts of the 
kingdom, to summon the people to a reformation of 
manners ; and they separate in the hope of a speedy 
reunion to tell the story of their successes. But the 
first brick-bat thrown by a Kingswood collier at the 
learned classic, and the first shower of rotten eggs from 
the crowds at Newcastle upon the professor of philo- 
sophy, and the first howl of the Wednesbury rioters 
in the ears of the mathematical celebrity, would spoil 
their fine-spun theory, and send them home with a 
clearer apprehension of the text : " Not by might, nor 
by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts " 
(Zech. iv. 6). 

The great Head of the Church knew better what the 
necessities of the case required than the men who now 
cavil at the instruments employed. History will show 
how comparatively humble agents have achieved mighty 
results, while others with greater educational advan- 
tages, but with ignoble souls, have lived to little pur- 
pose ; and when the names of some of these objectors 
shall be lost in utter obscurity, the names of many, 
rudely called by them illiterate, shall shine conspicu- 
ously, high on the records of eternal fame. 


We repeat, that the distinction of the Methodist 
Ministry from the first has been its preaching power. 
You have read how the crowds were swayed by the 
preaching of the Wesleys. Moorfields, Kennington 
Common, and other parts of London witnessed the 
mighty moving of thousands upon thousands, as these 
men thundered forth the law, and then " preached 
Jesus and the resurrection." Nearly all the large 
towns of England, and several both in Scotland and 
Ireland, were regularly visited by the evangelists, and 
for many years, wherever they went, " the power of 
the Lord was present to heal." 

Those whom they selected and appointed were no 
unworthy coadjutors and successors, so far as preach- 
ing is concerned. What a race of men do you find 
portrayed in The Lives of the Early Methodist Preachers ! 
Let me, without further detail, commend these volumes 
to those who are in the habit of sneering at the 
ability of the men whose mighty labours ought rather 
to command their esteem. 

After these immediate successors of the Wesleys, 
there came others of equal, if not of greater, pulpit 
power. Samuel Bradburn was a man mighty in the 
Scriptures, and sometimes of overmastering eloquence. 
Henry Moore possessed a mind of more than ordinary 
vigour, and in the robustness of his strength was a 
most successful preacher. The names of Alexander 
Mather, John Gaulter, William Bramwell, Richard 
Eeece, Richard Treffry, and others, stand out promin- 
ently on this page of Methodist history. 

Then we come to a generation of preachers, who, 
though gone to their reward, are yet remembered by 


many living. Jonathan Edmonson was a minister who 

would have done honour to any pulpit in the Country. 

Jabez Bunting is a name which will endure, not merely 

because of his statesmanlike ability, but because of his 

preaching, which for many years was mighty beyond 

description. Eobert Newton is a glowing memory 

yet : his noble build, his matchless voice, his majestic 

utterances, justify his world-wide fame, as one of the 

foremost preachers of his day. Thomas Jackson, 

uniting the simplicity of a child with the purity of a 

saint, during a long life preached the central truths of 

the Gospel, not only with acceptance, but with fidelity and 

power. James Dixon, with capacious mind, philosophic 

insight, and large sympathies, for years held spell-bound 

the congregations which crowded to hear him in every 

^ part of the Country. John Hannah, the beloved and 

revered tutor of many now in the Ministry, stood forth 

for well-nigh half a century, as the careful critic, the safe 

expositor, and the warm-hearted preacher of Bible truth. 

Then come the names of Thomas Galland, John 

Anderson, William Atherton, Joseph Beaumont, John 

Bowers, John W Etheridge, Francis A. West, William 

L. Thornton, Robert Young, Peter M'Owan, Thomas 

Aubrey, and others, all of whom exercised a powerful 

and successful ministry. 

And finally, to come still closer to ourselves, we are 
all yet mourning the loss of such men as Thomas 
Vasey, Luke Hoult Wiseman, Charles Prest, and others, 
who have but just laid down their commissions, and 
will be long remembered as eminent, laborious, and 
faithful Ministers of the New Covenant. 

We are right, therefore, in saying that yours is a 


noble ancestry. The grace of God has been signally- 
displayed in the history of the Methodist pulpit. 
Ever since the days of the Wesleys, have the lead- 
ing doctrines of the Gospel been vigorously preached. 
Eepentance, faith, and holiness have sounded through 
the land, as with a voice of thunder. Millions of people 
have listened to this message. From all parts of the 
civilised world, souls have been gathered to heaven 
by this instrumentality. We claim nothing for the 
Methodist pulpit to the disparagement of other 
Churches ; and we are far from saying that our Fathers 
were perfect men, or that all their successors in the 
ministry have been faithful and effective. But we do 
say that they deserve not the epithets with which they 
have been branded. They were eminently fitted for 
the peculiarities of their position, and they deserve 
well of posterity for the work which they accomplished. 
On a review, therefore, of the past century, and 
marking the noble men, whose names and lives adorn 
the chronicles of our Churches, we are prepared 
with loving gratitude to exclaim : " What hath God 

III. Your Preaching. — I now come to the most 
responsible, and, may I say, delicate part of my duty. 
The question is, What right have you to preach ? I do 
not now refer to what is designated " the inward call •" 
for you have to-day declared your conviction that you 
are " inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon 
you this office and ministration." The question has 
special reference to the outward call. I have to repeat, 
in the face of this congregation and of this Country, our 



belief that your orders are Scriptural, and therefore 
valid. Let me guard myself against misapprehension. 
Although your call is questioned by those who accept the 
figment of Apostolical Succession, and though I shall 
feel it right to withstand all such " to the face," I have 
not one word to utter against any of the Evangelical 
Churches of Christendom. A broad distinction must 
be made between Churches, as represented by their 
standards, and the conduct of individuals belonging to 
them. Further, let me say that some of the greatest 
lights that have ever shone in other Churches, and 
some of the brightest that are shining now, have pro- 
tested against the arrogant claims of those who deny 
your orders ; and have acknowledged, without grudging 
or reserve, your churchmanship and the validity of 
, your call. / do not believe that the Pope himself can 
prove his own Apostolical descent, and am quite certain 
that no so-called Protestant Minister can prove his. 
The attempt which has recently been made to find 
another line of succession, apart from mediaeval and 
modern Popery, is a poor subterfuge, and unworthy of 
the learning and reputation of some who have made it. 
They know, however, that if the whole chain could be 
distinctly traced, some of its links are of such a 
character that it is desirable to find another pathway 
to the times of the Apostles than that through Eome. 
But they cannot do it. We are therefore shut up to an 
examination of the old claim. I will present it to you 
in the language of one of its ablest modern exponents^ 
who says : — 

" The officer whom we now call a Bishop was at first 
called an Apostle, although afterwards it was thought 


better to confine the title of Apostle to those who had 
seen the Lord Jesus, while their successors, exercising 
the same rights and authority, though unendowed with 
miraculous powers, contented themselves with the desig- 
nation of Bishops. . . . Our ordinations descend 
in a direct unbroken line from Peter and Paul, the 
Apostles of the Circumcision and the Gentiles. These 
great Apostles successively ordained Linus, Cletus, and 
Clement, Bishops of Eome ; and the Apostolic succes- 
sion was regularly continued from them to Gregory 
and Vitalianus, who ordained Patriek Bishop for the 
Irish, and Augustine and Theodore for the English. 
And from these times an uninterrupted series of valid 
ordinations has carried down the Apostolical Succession 
to the present day." 

How men of learning and historical research could 
make statements like these, passes all comprehension. 
One seems to be thrown into some fairy region, where 
facts are forgotten and imagination runs riot. Thomas 
Powell, one of our own Ministers, whose Essay on 
Apostolical Succession I shall have repeatedly to refer 
to, — an Essay which has never yet been answered, — 
stated the case clearly when he said : — • 

" This doctrine is the root of all their errors and 
popish proceedings. By such a scheme as this they 


The claim stands thus : — 

" 1. That Bislwps are, by divine right, an order 
superior to, distinct from, and having povjers, autho- 
rity, and rights incompatible with Presbyters, simply as 


" 2. That the Bishops of this order are the sole 
successors of the Apostles, as okdainers of other 
Ministers, and governors both of pastors and people. 

" 3. That this succession is a personal succession, 
viz. that it is to be traced through an historical series 
of persons, validly ordained as Bishops, transmitting 
in an unbroken line this episcopal order and power to 
the latest generations. 

" 4. That no ministry is VALID, except it have THIS 
episcopal ordination ; and that all ordinances and sac- 
raments are vain, except they be administered by such 
episcopally ordained Ministers." 

We deny every one of these propositions, and 
assert, — 

" 1. That Bishops and Presbyters are, by divine right, 
Jhe same order ; and that Presbyters, by divine right, 
have the same power and authority as Bishops ; that 
ordination by Presbyters is equally valid with that of 
Bishops : and, consequently, that the Ministry of all 
the reformed Protestant Churches is equally valid with 
that of any other Church. 

" 2. That Presbyters are as much the successors of 
the Apostles as Bishops are. 

" 3. That a succession of the Truth of Doctrine, of 
Faith, and Holiness, of the pure Word of God, and of 
the Sacraments duly administered, is the only essen- 
tial succession necessary to a Christian Church. 

" 4. That all are true Christian churches, where 
such a Ministry and such ordinances are found." 

In maintaining these propositions, our appeal is 
especially to the Bible. The immortal words of Chil- 
lingworth have been, still are, and will continue to be, 


our watchword : " The religion of the Protestants — is 
the Bible. The Bible, I say, the Bible only, is the 
religion of Protestants." 

One of the chief arguments in favour of the divine 
right claim is taken from the Apostolical Commission : 
" Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them 
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe all things what- 
soever I have commanded you : and, lo, I am with 
you alway, even unto the end of the world " (Matt. 
xxviii. 19, 20). 

We are told that this Commission belongs exclusively 
to Bishops : that they are the sole successors of the 
Apostles, and the only parties who can ordain other 
ministers. But can any statement be more fallacious ? 
What letter or syllable is there in that passage, to indi- 
cate a distinction between the orders of Bishop and 
Presbyter ? Most palpably, the contrary of this is 
intended. The Commission belongs equally to all 
Ministers of Christ Not only does the great Teacher 
make no distinction, but He plainly warns others 
against doing so. He declares that even the highest 
of His Ministers shall assume no superiority, alleging 
as the reason for the injunction : " For one is your 
Master, even Christ." Again we read : " But Jesus 
called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know 
that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles 
exercise lordship over them ; and their great ones 
exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be 
among you : but whosoever will be great among you 
shall be your minister : and whosoever of you will be 
the chiefest, shall be servant of all." You cannot read 


these passages without the conviction " that all Minis- 
ters of the Gospel are equal by divine authority, and 
that the only important distinctions before God will be 
those of deeper piety, more devoted labours, and greater 
usefulness to the Church of God." 

As to the superiority of the Apostles to other 
Ministers, let us see in what it consisted ; in other 
words, what were the prerogatives of the twelve 
Apostles, as possessed by them, to the exclusion of all 
other ministers whom the Lord had called ? They 
were the five following : — 

1. The Apostles were directly called by Christ, 
without human ordination. 

2. They were " taught the Gospel " by immediate 
revelation from heaven. 

k 3. They were enabled to teach it infallibly to others. 

4. Universal authority as to the doctrine of faith 
and morals was. committed to them. 

5. And, finally, by the presence and power of the 
Holy Ghost, they were not only the means of working 
miracles, but sometimes communicated miraculous 
power to others. 

You will perceive that these prerogatives were dis- 
tinct from the ordinary call and work of the Christian 
Ministry. Admission into the Christian Church, ordi- 
nations to the Ministry, and the preaching of the Gospel, 
belonged to the elders as much as to the Apostles. 
But in what sense has a modern Bishop succeeded 
to the prerogatives of the Apostles ? Is his vocation 
from heaven, and without human appointment ? Is he 
taught by immediate revelation ? Is he infallible in 
his utterances ? Has he a commission of universal 


authority ? And has he the power of communicating 
the miraculous gifts of the Spirit ? These questions 
can only be answered in the negative. 

I will not trouble you with the argument as to the 
ecclesiastical authority claimed for Bishops, under the 
divine right theory, much further than to say that it 
breaks down at every step. In the earliest Christian 
ages, the claim to Apostolical prerogatives was not 
even named, but it was gradually advanced afterwards. 
With regard to all matters of ordinary Ministerial 
authority, the elders are on a level with the Apostles. 
Ignatius is represented as saying : " Presbyters pre- 
side in the place of the Council of the Apostles." 
" Be ye subject to your Presbyters, as to the Apostles 
of Jesus Christ." "Let all reverence the Presbyters, 
as the Sanhedrim of God, and AS the college of 
Apostles." " See that ye follow the Presbyters, as the 

In opposition to the high pretensions to Apostolic 
prerogative, we cite three brief testimonies. Dr. 
Barrow says : " The Apostolical office, as such, was 
personal and temporary ; and therefore, according to its 
nature and design, not successive." 

Whitaker affirms that " the office of a Bishop has 
nothing to do with the office of an Apostle." 

And even Bellarmine, the redoubtable Popish 
champion, declares that " Bishops have no part of 
the true apostolical authority." 

Further, there is " no sufficient historic evidence of 
a personal succession of valid episcopal ordinations." 
The very first links in the chain fall to pieces as 
you touch them. Eusebius, the authority constantly 


quoted, confesses the uncertainty into which he had 
been thrown by his investigations. 

Although Peter is called the first Bishop of Eome, 
it never can be proved that he was in Eome at all. 
But, supposing he was there, and was really the Bishop, 
who succeeded him ? There is not a human beinc 
who knows. Some say Clement, and others Linus : one 
set of writers contradicts the other ; and one of the 
greatest ecclesiastical authorities maintains that " upon 
the whole matter, there is no certainty who ivas Bishop 
of Eome next to the Apostles." 

The farther we go, confusion becomes the worse 
confounded. There is more doubt about the third 
Bishop of Eome than about the second; and the 
fourth case is involved in still greater difficulty. 

I am almost ashamed to ask you to look at the 
personal character of many of the Popes, after the 
succession is pretty fairly started; although Arch- 
deacon Mason goes the length of maintaining that 
" neither heresy, nor degradation from the office of a 
Bishop, nor schism, nor the most extreme wicked- 
ness, nor anything else, can deprive a person once 
made a Bishop of the power of giving true ordeks." 
Some of the Popes are designated " a series of monsters," 
who plunged themselves into the very abyss of im- 
purity ; and some of them were elected by the most 
debased men in existence. I dare not defile either 
my own lips or your ears, by citing facts proved by 
unquestionable evidence ; but of what value can that 
succession be, which comes through such a channel ? 

If the " unbroken line " is to be maintained, how 
can we get over the schisms of the Popedom ? And 


there were more than twenty of them before the end 
of the fourteenth century, some of which continued 
for forty years. There have been at least four pre- 
tenders to the Popedom living at the same time. 
Through which of them did the succession run ? 

It will be admitted that a man who is made a 
Bishop must have been a priest ; otherwise, surely he 
is merely a layman. But there have been several 
Popes who were never Presbyters, and who were 
never therefore ordained to the Christian Ministry ; 
and if they had no orders themselves, how could they 
give them to others ? We therefore assert that the 
historic evidence of an unbroken bine of descent from 
the Apostles utterly fails. 

In the course of theological reading, you have 
studied the venerable Thomas Jackson's Institutions 
of Christianity. You will remember that in hi3 five 
chapters on the Ministerial Office he deals with this 
question ; and that he summons some of the first 
scholars of the Church of England, as witnesses against 
the astounding claims of the succession party. The 
names of Dean Field, George Lawson, Bishop Stilling- 
fleet, Dr. John Edwards, Dr. Frederick Nolan, Dean 
Milman, and Professor Lightfoot are adduced, and their 
testimonies quoted. 

And now, in dismissing the absurd pretensions and 
unfounded claims of those who deny your orders, let 
me say that we share the " unspeakable grief and 
shame " with which one of our honoured Classical 
Tutors regards the recent utterance of the Dean of 
Manchester. That Dignitary stated that, while he 
would have Nonconformist " Teachers " to be treated 


" courteously and kindly," it was the duty of all true 
Churchmen, " calmly," but " utterly," to deny their 
claim to be Ministers of Christ ; for that would imply 
" a complete rejection of the grace of ordination." 

I venture to think that " it is the duty of all true 
Churchmen " to bow the head in deepest humiliation 
at a statement like that from one of their own Ministers. 

We ask, Will any man who is not prejudiced by a 
theory believe, God being what He is, and Christ and 
the Bible what we know them to be, that ordination 
by a diocesan Bishop determines the difference between 
the true and the false Minister ; so that on the one 
hand a man, however ignorant, worldly, or wicked, if 
thus ordained, is an ambassador from heaven, while on 
the other hand a man whose character bears all "the 
signs of an Apostle," but who lacks such ordination, is 
at best an " honest and sincere " self-deceiver claiming 
our tolerance and compassion ? The common sense 
of mankind revolts from the idea. It is as absurd as it 
is profane, and it is as mischievous as it is baseless. It 
throws a palpable slur upon the moral perfection of 
God. It does grievous wrong to the purity and 
charity of Christ. It degrades the Gospel into a 
system of ecclesiastical magic and legerdemain. It 
encourages narrowness, bigotry, and a troop of kindred 
evils. It reverses the poles of the Christian revelation, 
and throws the world back again upon its spiritual 

We now enter upon the question as to what your 
orders are. We say that to-day you are recognised as 
Ministers of the Christian Church. What is the office 
to which you are inducted ? 


There are at least five titles used in the New 
Testament to designate it. The first is that of 
Presbyter or Elder; the second is that of Bishop, 
signifying Overseer or Superintendent; the third is 
that of Teacher ; the fourth, that of Pastor or Shep- 
herd ; and the last, that of Euler. To the two first 
of these we now more particularly refer. The identity 
of Presbyters and Bishops is with us beyond all 
dispute. The following evidence is believed to be 

"In the Acts (xx. 17), St. Paul is represented as 
summoning to Miletus the Elders or Presbyters of 
the Church of Ephesus. Yet, in addressing them 
immediately afterwards, he appeals to them as Bishops 
or Overseers of the Church (xx. 28). 

" Similarly, St. Peter, appealing to the Presbyters of 
the Churches- addressed by him, in the same breath 
urges them to fulfil the office of Bishops with disin- 
terested zeal (1 Pet. v. 1,2). 

" Again, in the First Epistle to Timothy, St. Paul, 
after describing the qualifications for the office of a 
Bishop (iii. 1—7), goes on to say what is required of 
Deacons (iii. 8-1 S). He makes no mention of Pres- 
byters. The term ' Presbyter,' however, is not unknown 
to him ; for, having occasion in a later passage to speak 
of Christian Ministers, he calls these officers no longer 
'Bishops,' but 'Presbyters' (v. 17-19). 

" The same identification appears still more plainly 
from the Apostle's directions to Titus (i. 5-7) : ' That 
thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, 
and ordain elders in every city, as I appointed thee ; 
if any man be blameless, the husband of one wife, 


having believing children, who are not charged with 
riotousness or unruly; for a bishop must be blameless,' etc. 

" Nor is it only in the Apostolic writings that this 
identity is found. St. Clement of Eome wrote, pro- 
bably in the last decade of the first century, and in 
his language the terms are still convertible." 

Mr. Wesley thoroughly confirms this view of the 
question on at least five several occasions : — In his 
Journal ; in his Notes on the New Testament ; in his 
Letter to Dr. Coke, Mr. Asbury, and others; addressing 
his brother Charles ; and in his dealing with the founding 
of the American Churches. 

Next, what are the requisites of your office ? 
First, personal consecration to Christ. "Thou therefore, 
my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus " 
(2 Tim. ii. 1). Without this, all other gifts are vain, 
lou may be men of great intellectual vigour, and of 
the highest culture ; you may be profound in thought 
and quick in perception ; you may be able to explore 
the regions of philosophy and to apprehend the con- 
stantly-increasing discoveries of science; but let me 
say with all earnestness that if you do not maintain 
personal godliness, your divine call is gone. You have 
to-day professed a living faith in Christ. You have 
expressed your belief in the attainment of personal 
purity. You have pledged yourselves to pursue and 
appropriate it, and to live in the exhibition of it. 
Believe me, nothing can compensate for the lack of 
this. You believe in the direct witness of the Spirit. 
Do not live a day without it. You believe in perfect 
love. Press into the possession of it. You are required 
in the very nature of your office, to obtain and exhibit 


large experience in religion. Hear what St. Paul 
saith as to your character : — " A bishop then must be 
blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of 
good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach ; not 
given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre ; 
but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that 
ruleth well his own house, having his children in sub- 
jection with all gravity ; (for if a man know not how to 
rule his own house, how shall he take care of the 
church of God ?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up 
with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 
Moreover he must have a good report of them which 
are without ; lest he fall into reproach and the snare 
of the devil" (1 Tim. iii. 2-7). I will not dwell upon 
each of these clauses ; but while all of them are im- 
portant, some are specially so. You must be "blameless." 
Take care that nothing either in your character or con- 
duct shall dishonour Christ, or bring discredit upon 
your profession. "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of 
the Lord" (Isa. Iii. 11). Be "vigilant," that is, be 
watchful; the moment that you are off your guard 
may be the moment of your ruin. Be " sober," both 
in bearing and conversation. Kemember the words of 
St. Paul, and avoid the "foolish talking" and "jesting, 
which are not convenient " (Eph. v. 4). Your " business 
is with eternity," and trifling is no fitting exercise for 
you. Be " not given to wine." This caution is no 
more unnecessary now than in the days of St. Paul. 
There are few things more dangerous to a young 
Minister to-day than social customs. Let me warn you 
in all affection that the habit of intemperance may 
easily be formed ; and who can tell the ruin which may 


follow ? Without laying down abstinence as a positive 
duty, I have no hesitation in saying that, if it be con- 
sistent with your health, it may be made an abundant 
blessing to many, and by it you may earn a good 

Another requisite is competent ability for the mini- 
sterial work. You are not only to hold " sound 
doctrine," but you are by it to be able " both to exhort 
and to convince the gainsayers." You are to stop the 
mouths of vain talkers and deceivers ; in one word, 
you are to be " apt to teach." 

The third characteristic is that of faithful service ; 
and this assuredly implies that you are to be in earnest. 
Zeal for Christ and for the salvation of souls is im- 
peratively required. Indeed, you must be earnest in 
these days. It is scarcely necessary to exhort you to 
this ; for the fact is, if you be not in earnest, Circuits 
will refuse to receive you. Men cannot succeed in 
any undertaking without earnestness. The careless 
tradesman will soon find himself in the Gazette. No 
academical honours are within the reach of an indolent 
student. In every profession in this Country, a man 
must either put his soul into his calling, or be left 
far behind in the race for distinction. Bishop Hall 
says that " Gospel Ministers should not only be like 
dials on watches, or milestones upon the road ; but like 
clocks and larums, to sound the alarm to sinners. 
Aaron wore bells as well as pomegranates, and the 
prophets were divinely commanded to lift up their 
voice like a trumpet. A sleeping sentinel may be the 
loss of a City." 

Lastly, the Duties of your office are chiefly three : 


Teaching, Watching, Ruling. I wish to dwell especially 
on the first, and will therefore briefly touch the other 
two, in their inverted order. 

1. Ruling. — The Apostle Peter thus puts it: — "The 
elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an 
elder Feed (or rule) the flock of God which is 
among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by con- 
straint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a 
ready mind" (1 Pet v. 1, 2). While your duty to 
the Church is thus enjoined, the Church's obligation to 
you is thus expressed: — "Obey them that have the 
rule over you, and submit yourselves ; for they watch 
for your souls, as they that must give account, that 
they may do it with joy, and not with grief" (Heb. 
xiii. 17). Government is inherent in the Ministerial 
office, and the Lord will require from every one of you 
in this respect a strict account. But let me ask you 
not to make too much of your Ministerial prerogative. 
This ruling is rather to be regarded as a heavy respon- 
sibility, than as a privilege to be coveted. For the 
most part you will be associated with, and preside 
over, a willing people. They will generally render an 
affectionate and loyal homage to the claims of your 
office ; but they will rebel against anything that looks 
like sacerdotalism. If you rule in love, you will rule 

2. Watching. — We use this word to denote those 
other parts of your pastoral duty which are not included 
in government ; such as attention to the sick, the care- 
less and the lukewarm, the private administration of 
reproof where such is required, and all other duties 
that are included in the relation which, as a shepherd, 


you sustain to the flock. " Feed the church of God, 
which he hath purchased with his own blood " (Acts 
xx. 28). 

3. But it is in harmony with my plan to say that 
your great work is teaching or preaching. Ordained 
to-day to the Methodist Ministry, you are called 
especially to preach. Our people abhor ritualism, and 
happily do not care for much of ritual in their services. 
Our modes of worship are very simple ; and while our 
congregations are not unmindful of any of the parts of 
public worship, they look especially to the pulpit to be 
fed. You must therefore preach the Gospel. An old 
author says that " the Gospel is the heart of God in 
print." The very terms which are used to designate 
your message are full of instruction and comfort. 
J' The Gospel ;" " the Gospel of salvation ;" "the Gospel 
of his grace ;" "the Gospel of the kingdom;" " the Gospel 
of Christ;" "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God;" 
" the everlasting Gospel ; " " the testimony of God ; " 
" Christ crucified." What a wondrous collocation ! 
and what a calling is yours ! 

What I want to urge upon you is, that your whole 
life and powers are committed to the preaching of the 
old, simple, glorious Gospel of Christ. You will study 
the Bible to little purpose, if you do not find Him 
everywhere : and you will but feebly fulfil your 
Ministry, if you do not preach Him always. It is not 
meant that you are continually to be preaching on the 
same subject, or that you are constantly to use the 
same illustrations. Imitate the bee, which wings 
itself in every direction to gather honey ; but see that 
it is honey, and not poison, that you gather. 


Do you ask, " Am I to preach Christ, where my text 
does not preach him ? " My reply is, " I can't find such 
a text ; and if I could, I would pass on to another." 
And let me say, here, that if the course of my own 
Ministry had again to be fulfilled, it should be more 
completely permeated and saturated with evangelical 
truth. Christ is the central figure of Bible revelation, 
and ought to be the central figure of our sermons. 

As to the Eesults of your preaching, let me say 
a word both of caution and encouragement. Nothing 
short of saving results must satisfy ; but guard against 
depression. " Watch and pray against failures ; but 
take heed of desponding under them." " Every 
failure may be a step to success." You may fre- 
quently have to fall down in humiliation, and say, 
" Who hath believed our report ? " But this very 
experience will lead you to cry, " Who is sufficient for 
these things ? " and that experience will bring you to 
this : " Our sufficiency is of God." Kemember that in 
preaching the truth, as it is in Jesus, you wield an 
omnipotent power. 

Here, then, is your encouragement. If you preach 
for souls, you shall have souls. And if you only 
cultivate the feeling, " I shall die, if men are not 
saved," the result is secured. 

As to your preparation for the pulpit, I will trouble 
you with only a few sentences. Begin with prayer. 
Be assured that the most brilliant efforts, without this, 
will prove a failure ; but that even ordinary gifts will 
succeed, if " sanctified by the word of God and prayer." 
If you bear this in mind, you will never be without 
a text. 



Get your sermon out of your text, and explain or 
elucidate, but never cover or hide it by high-sounding 
phraseology. Teed your mind and heart by careful 
reading : this is " the key of knowledge." And let 
me in one emphatic sentence, while adverting to your 
reading, warn you against the speculations and doubts 
which are just now raised, on the subjects of plenary 
inspiration, the Sabbath, the Atonement, and future 

As to how far you should use your pen in pre- 
paration, I presume not to dictate ; but however much 
you write, leave room for extemporaneous utterance. 
I have only further to say here, that you must study. 
Some young Ministers have a fatal fluency of ex- 
pression. Scarcely any greater calamity could come 
upon you than that you should be able to talk without 
thinking. No matter what your gifts may be, they 
will never render hard study unnecessary. If you 
can preach well without study, you can preach better 
with it. Your people have an undoubted right to the 
best you can give them ; and, considering that pulpit 
preparation presses less heavily on you than on the 
Ministers of most other Churches, your sermons ought 
to reach the highest standard of excellence. 

It is not beneath the gravity of this occasion, to say 
a word as to your bearing in the pulpit. Let your 
action be natural, your demeanour devout, your 
manner earnest; and above everything else, let the 
congregation both see and feel that your sole object 
is to do them good. Think it not an unnecessary 
advice to be punctual. Do not "skip" up into the 
pulpit ; and when the exercise is over " skip " down 


again. Every part of your duty demands serious 
behaviour. If you take my advice, you will your- 
selves give out the Hymns, and read them so that 
they shall be understood. If you cannot render the 
meaning of a hymn by reading it, better than a choir 
can by chanting or singing it, it is high time that you 
made the Hymn Book a special study. Always 
conduct the devotional part of your service with 
fervour and solemnity. Give special attention to the 
reading of the Scriptures, and seek by your very tone 
and emphasis to bring out their signification. When 
you come to the sermon, remember Mr. "Wesley's 
advice : " Do not speak too long or too loud." Utter 
every sentence under the conviction that unless the 
Holy Ghost help you, your word is powerless. Never 
forget your application, and always speak under the 
inspiration of our Founder's words : " You have nothing 
to do but to save souls." 

And now I have nearly done. But my heart yearns 
over you with warm brotherly affection ; and I cannot 
close without another word as to your future. What 
will become of you ? Where will be your spheres of 
labour ? What will be your career ? And what will 
the end be? Will you become laborious and suc- 
cessful Ministers of Christ, and die triumphantly, 
leaving behind you precious memories and many souls 
as the crown of your rejoicing ? Or, is it possible — 
I tremble to utter it — that any one of you will fall 
from grace, lose your call and character, die dis- 
honoured, and be plunged into that deeper perdition 
which must be the lot of a faithless and recreant 
Minister ? 


Is there a sight on earth more appalling than that 
of the man who has perhaps for years sustained the 
Ministerial office with credit, and to whom the people 
looked with respect and even admiration, who from 
whatever cause — whether lack of spirituality, or indul- 
gence of appetite, or greed of gain — has lost his position, 
and is now recognised and pointed at as a fallen 
Minister of the Gospel ? Well might St. Chrysostom 
cry out: "If a man should speak fire, blood, and 
smoke ; if flames should come out of his mouth 
instead of words ; if he had a voice like thunder, and 
an eye like lightning, he could not sufficiently repre- 
sent the dreadful account that an unfaithful Pastor 
shall make." 

And then what is to be said of this man's future ? 
Is it possible to conceive a doom more fearful than 
riis, who, having brought others into the way of life, 
has left the path himself; and having urged others to 
seek the preparation for heaven, himself becomes a 
castaway ? Gurnall says : " It is shocking to fall into 
hell from under the pulpit ; how much more so from 
out of the pulpit ? " Oh, the gnawing of the worm 
that never dies ! Oh, the inextinguishable fires which 
consume that soul for ever, " where their worm dieth 
not, and the fire is not quenched." 

But let me turn from this to a twofold contrast. I 
see a youth who, having passed through his educa- 
tional course, is designated for a professional career. 
By the openings of his intellect and early culture, 
high expectations are excited. His path seems to be 
satisfactorily defined. But suddenly his whole nature 
undergoes a change : some word from the pulpit has 


pierced his soul : he falls before the mercy-seat in 
penitential sorrow, and cries, " What must I do to be 
saved?" light comes from heaven. The great 
change takes place. From that moment a new 
course opens. The love of Christ constrains him. 
One great thought takes possession of him : " I am 
the Lord's, and must work for him. Souls, precious 
souls, around me are dying. I must spend my life 
in preaching Christ to them." Everything now 
bends before this sublime resolution. He eagerly, 
and almost impatiently, pursues his studies, that he 
may be ready for his life-work ; and there is within 
him a holy chafing at everything which holds him 
back. Like the horse, eager for the battle, he pants 
to rush into the conflict ; but just in the completeness 
of his preparation, this plumed and youthful warrior- 
is stricken by disease. The soul within him burns 
through and consumes the body, and the young 
soldier reaches the reward almost before the fi^ht 
begins. The great Lord accepts the purpose, and, 
without exacting the service, confers the guerdon. 

" I saw him first when his cultured mind 
Was furrowed by thought of a higher kind 
Than all that science could e'er attain 
In the loftiest heights of her wide domain — 
He drank from a fountain pure and high, 
From the hallowed streams of Calvary. 

" On the towers of Zion he longed to stand, 
To point the way to a better land ; 
But Heaven decreed a holier sphere, 
And the chariot wheels are rolling near, 
And the rush of the horses is heard on high, 
In their viewless flight to eternity ! 


" The flickering lamp of an earthly fame 
Has changed to a brighter, holier flame ; 
And the midnight oil, with its feeble ray, 
Is hid in the light of eternal day, 
Where censers of gold, with odours sweet, 
Burn ever before the mercy-seat ! " 

What say you to this sadly brief but noble career, 
which reminds one of the marble column in the 
cemetery, rudely broken at its centre ; as compared 
with the fallen and dishonoured man whom we just 
portrayed ? Would you not rather a thousand times 
sink into an early grave, with a character unsullied, 
and the white flower of holy thought and purpose 
lying on your breast, than after even a long life of 
service, lose your religion, and fall into the tomb 
unhonoured and unwept ? 
»But turn now to the other part of this picture. 
See the minister who has maintained his faithfulness. 
His religious life has been one of continued devotion 
and successful effort. Many by his Ministry have 
been turned from darkness to light, and many have 
gone to heaven, who are ready to greet him as the 
instrument of their salvation. 

" I saw one man, armed simply with God's Word, 

Enter the souls of many fellow-men, 
And pierce them sharply as a two-edged sword, 

While conscience echoed back his words again, 

Till, even as showers of fertilizing rain 
Sink through the bosom of the valley clod, 

So their hearts opened to the wholesome pain, 
And hundreds knelt upon the flowery sod, 
One good man's earnest prayer the link 'twixt them and God." 

There are not many sublimer sights on earth than 
the deathbed of a saintly Minister. It is said that 


" the sun looks proudest in the evening ; and the cause 
of his grandeur is, that ere he himself sinks to rest, 
a thousand clouds, which his light brightens into 
radiance and beauty, encircle and seem to escort him : 
so, when a great preacher draws to his rest, a thousand 
younger men, whose fire has been kindled by him, reflect 
his light, and testify his power." 

Once more, observe the contrast between the un- 
faithful and the faithful ambassador of Christ. The 
one sinks into the grave, it may be, without a friend 
or mourner ; unless some former colleague, urged by 
memories of the past, takes his stand by the corpse of 
his once honoured fellow-labourer, and, weeping over 
the wrecked life, exclaims with affectionate and 
regretful sorrow, " Alas, my brother!" The other 
finishes his course with joy ; his chamber is felt by 
all present to be the very gate of heaven ; his last 
hours are full of precious memories and bright anti- 
cipations ; his spirit leaves the body amid the prayers 
and tears of loving friends ; and his soul ascends to 
heaven upon the breath of those, his own children in 
the Lord, who cry with hallowed longing to follow 
him, " My Father, my Father, the chariot of Israel, 
and the horsemen thereof!" 

The closing question is, "What is your purpose 
to-day? Will you profit by the warning which I 
have ventured to offer; and will you follow the noble 
example which has just been adduced ? Are your 
minds made up that, come what may, you will be the 
Lord's for ever? "Will you be good men, "full of faith 
and of the Holy Chost"? Will you preach Christ 
Will you unceasingly offer and urge a free, a present, 



and a full salvation ? Will you give up your 
character and reputation, your talents, your health, 
your life to Him with whose commission you are 
now invested ? And will you live and die, faithful, 
zealous, hard-toiling, successful Methodist preachers ? 
You will, I believe you will. 

Go forth, then, under the benediction which we 
now ask for you. You have our confidence. The 
day itself shall declare the purposes of this solemn 
moment. If you are true to your vows, when death 
comes, you shall be ready ; and in the dread hour 
of judgment, each of you shall stand upright and 
honoured before the Divine Master, saying, as you 
point to multitudes, saved by your instrumentality: 
" Behold I and the children which God hath given 
me " (Heb. ii. 1 3). And at the same time, the Lord 
*Himself, in recognition of your faithfulness, and as 
the reward of your labour, shall say before the 
assembled worlds : " Well done, thou good and faithful 
servant : thou hast been faithful over a few things, I 
will make thee ruler over many things : enter thou 
into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt. xxv. 21). 

And " now unto him that is able to keep you from 
falling, and to present you faultless before the presence 
of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God 
our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, 
both now and ever. Amen " (Jude 24, 25). 



' ' But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is 
come upon you : axd ye shall be witnesses unto me both in 
Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto 
the uttermost tart of the earth." — acts i. 8. 

THE first few verses of this chapter may be regarded 
both as an appendix to St. Luke's Gospel and a 
preface to the Acts of the Apostles. The two books 
were written by the same pen. The author was well 
qualified for his task by an intimate acquaintance with 
the Saviour, whose life he has portrayed in the one, 
and with the Apostles, whose labours he has narrated 
iu the other. This chapter begins with a reference to 
the former work, and, indeed, by a short epitome of it 
(vers. 1-3). The writer then refers to a meeting which 
the disciples had with their Master after His resurrec- 
tion, when He commanded them not to depart from 
Jerusalem, but to wait there till a promise which He 
had previously given them should be fulfilled (John 
xiv. Ii6). They were then assured that this promise 
was within a few days of its fulfilment : " For John 
truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized 
with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." 

There was, at this time, a subject pressing heavily 



upon the Apostles, on which they wanted information 
from their Lord. It would seem that they had some 
misgivings as to the propriety of bringing it before 
Him ; for they did not venture to do so till the last 
opportunity. It is well known that they had not 
fully apprehended the nature of that kingdom which 
Christ came to set up. Notwithstanding His repeated 
teachings to the contrary, they clung to the notion of 
a temporal dominion. Nothing but His death could 
quench their hopes. They then despairingly said, 
" We trusted that it had been He which should have 
redeemed Israel." His resurrection revived the un- 
worthy groundless feeling, and they could not let Him 
go away without another word upon the subject. 
" When they therefore were come together " — probably 
to the Mount of Olives, where the last interview took 
place — one of them, in the name of all, " asked him, 
saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the 
kingdom to Israel?" The Saviour's reply is marked 
both by rebuke and comfort. He rebukes them for 
their curiosity and prejudice by saying, " It is not for 
you to know the times or the seasons, which the 
Father hath put in his own power." But He encou- 
rages them by the promise of the Spirit's help. They 
are assured that it will be far better to abandon their 
long-cherished unspiritual wishes, and devote them- 
selves to the work, which as His Apostles they would 
have to fulfil. The purposes of Heaven concerning 
Israel's nationality were not to trouble them ; but 
there was a kingdom of which He was the Head, the 
interests of which would demand their attention, and for 
the consummation of which they must pray and labour. 


He therefore draws off their thoughts from the Jewish 
temporal to the Christian spiritual, by the promise of 
the text : " But ye shall receive power, after that the 
Holy Ghost is come upon you : and ye shall be wit- 
nesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and 
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." 

This verse presents to us the opening up to the world 
of the Christian economy as a grand system of power ; 
and while it unfolds the superiority of Christian privi- 
lege, it enforces the enlargement of Christian obligation. 

We fix our attention on this Economy — 

I. Ik its inauguration ; and, 
II. Its two chief characteristics. 

I. In its inauguration. 

1. What is the Christian economy, which, when the 
Spirit was given, was opened to the world ? The 
general meaning of the word economy is the regulation 
of things, or the due distribution of means to an end. 
"When applied to the Christian religion, it denotes that 
system which acknowledges Christ as its Founder and 
Governor, and the spread of Christ's Gospel through- 
out the world as its object. But it is frequently used 
as synonymous with Christianity itself. 

(1.) It is an external system founded on fact, pre- 
senting its own claims, unfolding its own evidences, 
teaching its own doctrines, inculcating its own precepts, 
making its own promises, and rearing its own institu- 
tions. Well is it said that " the lofty profession which 
Christianity makes as a religion, and the promises it 
holds forth to mankind, entitle it to the most serious 


consideration of all ; for it may in truth be asserted 
that no other religion presents itself to the world under 
aspects so sublime, or such as are calculated to awaken 
desires and hopes «o enlarged and magnificent." 

Tbe record of the institute is the New Testament. 
To this its disciples always appeal, both as to faith and 
practice. It declares that eighteen centuries ago a 
Divine Being became incarnate ; that in the mysterious 
union of the two natures, He passed through the suc- 
cessive stages of infancy and youth and manhood ; 
that about His thirtieth year, according to human com- 
putation, He stood before the men of His Country as 
the Messiah of God, and claimed to be the person so 
constantly referred to in their sacred books, and assured 
them that the purpose of His mission was chiefly three- 
fold : to put an end to former dispensations by intro- 
ducing the perfect and therefore universal system of 
religion ; to present in His own life an example of all 
that was great and good ; and especially to offer Him- 
self as an atonement for the sins of men : that, in 
support of these claims, He pointed to the fulfilment of 
prophecy, wrought the most stupendous miracles, and 
revealed a system of truth far beyond the intellectual 
grasp of created mind : that in the prosecution of 
this purpose He laboured with ceaseless activity, for 
three years of His maturer life, wandered up and down 
the land of His birth and strange adoption, sojourned 
in its cities and chief places of resort, mingled with 
the people in familiar converse, performed acts of kind- 
liness wherever He went, submitted to the contumely 
and cruelties of bad men and baser devils, and at 
length died upon the cross, not the death of a martyr, 


but of a Saviour : that on the morning of the third day- 
He rose from the dead, gave sufficient proof both to 
His disciples and the world of the reality of His rising, 
committed to His followers the solemn deposit of the 
Christian religion, and charged them to preach His 
Gospel to every creature : that having thus died for 
man and laid the foundations of the Church, He left the 
world and ascended " up where He was before," and has 
thus opened heaven to all believers : that amid all the 
pomp of regal glory He is now carrying on the work of 
mediation : and that by and by He will come again to 
judge the world, to reward His followers with everlast- 
ing glory, and to punish His enemies with eternal death. 
All these verities are included in, and, for the most 
part, make up the Christian economy under which we 
live. It is a great fact, patent to the world ; it is 
divine in its origin ; it embodies the everlasting prin- 
ciples of truth ; it has no peer ; it allows of no 
rival ; its claims, like its offers, are universal ; and its 
destiny is to enlighten, and convert, and sanctify, and 
bless, and glorify the whole human race. 

(2.) Christianity is a living, personal, spiritual reality. 
You are not to regard this economy as something 
merely external, nor is it chiefly a system of externalism. 
Its greatest glory is its internal and hidden life. The 
block of marble rudely taken from the quarry may, 
under the chisel of the statuary, be so shaped and 
wrought as to secure the appearance of the human 
frame. There may not only be a general representa- 
tion of the body, but every feature of face, and every 
line of countenance, may be delicately and exquisitely 
portrayed. Still it is a piece of marble after all. 


Touch it — it is cold ; speak to it — it is dumb ; call it 
— it cannot move. There is no life. See the lump of 
clay in the hands of the Divine Artificer. It was a 
piece of shapeless matter. But in the Creator's hand 
it becomes plastic, and is moulded according to a divine 
purpose. And now it assumes most beautiful propor- 
tions. The symmetry is perfect, the face divine, and 
there it lies upon the greensward of Eden, the first 
human body, and a fitting type of external Christianity. 
There is the form, but there is not the life. As, how- 
ever, God " breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; 
and man became a living soul ; " so Jesus has breathed 
into Christianity His own spiritual being. The Church 
is not composed of human bodies. It is not the clay 
— the flesh, and blood, and bones — which makes up 
membership in the Church, but the human soul. It 
is the spirit which animates the body — the seat and 
source of life. " Christ in you, the hope of glory." 
When we speak of a living Christianity, we mean the 
Spirit of Christ dwelling in the heart and embodied in 
the life of a converted man. Men judge by the out- 
ward appearance, but God looks at the heart. " Is thy 
heart right ?" Does Jesus dwell and rule there ? and 
do the lips, and hands, and feet all move in harmony 
under this blessed impulse ? Religion, in the New 
Testament, is a living, personal thing. It is not offered 
to statues, and bodies, and systems, but to the man — 
the mind, the heart, the soul. 

2. When and how was this economy inaugurated ? 

The answer is found in the facts of that solemn 
day, when, in His promised plenitude, the Spirit was 
given to the world. 


(1.) Preceding events may not be overlooked. You 
will not suppose that the Spirit's grace was altogether 
withheld before. Under every dispensation, His agency 
has been recognised. In the work of creation, He was 
there. In the work of providence, He has been always 
there. In the calling of the Jews, He was there. In 
the long government of that nation, He was there. Dur- 
ing the Saviour's personal Ministry, He was there ; but 
His further plenary influences were the subject of pro- 
mise ; and on the morning of the Pentecost, the promise 
was fulfilled. We fall into error as we speak of the 
Christian economy beginning at the birth or death of 
Christ. 'Tis true, during His sojourn, the transfer might 
be said to be going on ; but it was not until the Holy 
Ghost was come, that it was completed. It was then 
that Christianity, freed from the swaddling clothes of 
childhood, and liberated from the restraints of youth, 
entered on its matured career of glory. 

(2.) The facts of the, evening clay are recited with 
inimitable simplicity and power (Acts ii. 1-4). What 
a rush of recollections does the mind sustain as we 
read this passage ! You think of the Saviour's pro- 
mise ; of the ascension from Mount Olivet ; the dis- 
ciples' return; the ten days of waiting; the prayer, 
the unity, the alternating hope and fear; and then 
the fulfilment. The early morn is ushered in by the 
mysterious sound, the encircling flame, the indwelling 
Spirit, and the gift of tongues. Hark at the loud 
Hallelujahs! Supplication is lost in song; and the 
diversity of language shows that this now inaugurated 
Christianity is the religion for all nations. 

That all this is the fulfilment of the long-uttered 


prophecy and the Redeemer's promise, is certain from 
the Apostle's statement : " Ye men of Judea, and all ye 
that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and 
hearken to my words : For these are not drunken as 
ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet 
Joel ; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith 
God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh." 

(3.) The Spirit, whose outpouring we thus hail, was 
then given to and embodied in the Christianity which 
the great Teacher had already revealed. Indeed that 
system was not ready for its work till now. Like the 
disciples themselves, it was " waiting for the promise." 
You have seen the morning twilight give place to the 
rising sun. In these latitudes you may behold his 
rays long before you see his face. These rays are 
beautiful, and every moment increases their beauty. 
Brighter and more powerful do they become, until 
each one of them is itself radiant with promise, when 
the sun rises up in his majesty and illumines the hemi- 
sphere. So the light of truth, which had always been 
shining, though feebly and locally, increased in bril- 
liancy and beauty, till on the Pentecostal morn the 
" Sun of Righteousness arose with healing in His 

We are in some danger of forgetting that the gift 
of the Pentecost was not local and temporary, but to 
all people and to all times. The miraculous mani- 
festations of the event were only its circumstances. 
The Pentecost was not the miracle, though there was 
miracle connected with it ; so that the miracle may 
pass away, and yet the Pentecost remain. The sub- 


stantiality of the Pentecost may be realized as long 
as the dispensation lasts. The Spirit was given then, 
and the Spirit is given now. We are now to pray 
and look, not for the miracle, but for the Holy Ghost. 
His grace is frequently compared to water ; and on the 
day of Pentecost there was the flood. Through sin, 
the earth was dry, and parehed, and barren. There 
was neither verdure nor fruit, because there was no 
life. But through the Covenant of grace, the Spirit 
was given to the world. The tiny rivulet told of the 
small beginning. Noiselessly and gently it moved 
along the patriarchal dispensation, never drying up, 
but rather gradually increasing ; the rill widened its 
little bed, and forced itself into a stream, and prophecy 
sung of still future enlargement. In the Messiah's 
days, the stream was amplified into a river, assuming- 
proportions of depth and majesty. But all this be- 
tokened the coming glory. The fulness was there ; 
it only wanted teeming forth. It had been pent up 
for ages ; and now that the flood-gates were opened, 
who can describe the rush ? The waters take a bound, 
in proportion to their previous imprisonment. Fresh, 
and bright, and living, they spurn barrier and channel ; 
sparkling in the sunbeam ; leaping through the defile ; 
pouring themselves from crag to crag; and after gush- 
ing and foaming their way, by gorge, and glen, and 
steep, they reach the thirsty plains. Each heavin" 
wave carries life to the soil ; the swell continues and 
advances, till every fissure is closed, and every nook 
is filled, and the whole plain is inundated ; moisture 
takes the place of drought, verdure of blackness, rich- 
ness of sterility, fruit of barrenness, life of death ; the 



primitive paradise comes back again : " the flowers 
appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds 
is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the 

The operations of the Spirit, which were thus given 
in their full-tidal glory, were not only associated with 
Christianity, but they were embodied in it, and really 
became a part of the Christian system. The original 
promise, therefore, which began to be fulfilled on the 
Pentecost, witnesses a further fulfilment in every age, 
— " I will pray the Father, and he shall give you 
another Comforter, that he may abide with you for 
ever." The Church is never to be without the Spirit. 
His absence is death. Numerical strength merely will 
not keep Christianity alive. " The Church will derive 
no glory from accessions, unless they come to her bap- 
tized with the influences of the Holy Spirit. Nothing 
has so overpowered and enfeebled the Church as unholy 
accessions : accessions of men without the Spirit have 
always proved to her a Saul's armour — or rather a 
' body of death,' dangling on her march, and giving an 
offensive odour to her best graces." Other means of 
impressing the heart are passed away. " The Shekinah 
is for ever quenched; the Urim and the Thummim 
have withdrawn their splendours; the Bath Kol is 
hushed; angelic visits are discontinued; dreams and 
visions are annulled ; but the Holy Ghost shall abide 
with you for ever." We, therefore, mean that there 
can be no living Christianity without the Spirit. He 
it is who gives vigour to every movement, and success 
to every operation. There is the institution of the 
Christian Ministry : what would it be without the 


Spirit ? A dry, perfunctory, deathly service. Chris- 
tian fellowship ; what is it without the Spirit ? A cold, 
formal, repulsive arrangement. The Holy Eucharist, 
even, what would it be without the Spirit ? A chill- 
ing, heartless, burdensome ceremony. As with the 
institutions, so with the privileges of Christianity. 
Song would have in it no music, and poetry no fire, if 
there were no divine influence. So also with the 
duties of Christianity : they would be regarded as an 
intolerable imposition. It is the Holy Ghost who 
gives energy to the word ; soul to the fellowship ; life 
to the sacrament. He it is who makes our duties 
privileges, and our privileges heaven. And under His 
sweeping and almighty agency, the Church goes forth 
to the discharge of its commission : " Go ye into all 
the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." 

II. Two chief Characteristics of Christianity 

Internal power and external diffusion. 

1. Internal power. " After that the Holy Ghost is 
come upon you, ye shall receive power." 

There is a wide distinction between the meaning of 
this word in the text, and of the same word in the pre- 
ceding verse. When it is said that the times and the 
seasons " the Father hath put in his own power," the 
reference is to the infinite and uncontrollable authority 
which God exercises over all — to that eternal strenoth 
of purpose and action which is in Himself, and which 
none can move. But when the Saviour says to the 
Apostles, " Ye shall receive power," He assures them 
that energy, ability, should be given to them to fulfil 
their work, in harmony with His previous statement, 


" And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon 
you ; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye 
be endued with power from on high." 

(1.) What is poiver ? In ordinary language it signi- 
fies ability, influence. Mechanical power is that force 
which, applied to a machine, sets it in motion. Arith- 
metical power is the product of any quantity multi- 
plied by itself any number of times. Power in law is 
the authority which one man gives another to act for 
him. Mental power is the act of volition. Spiritual 
power is the energy which is communicated by the 
Holy Ghost. God is the Source of all power. " There 
is no power, but of God." " God hath spoken once ; 
twice have I heard this ; that power belongeth unto 

Christianity is a great system of spiritual power. 
An eloquent writer reminds us that in the sacred 
Scripture, the Holy Spirit everywhere shows that this 
" religion is always an active, influential, powerful, 
operative principle, bearing on the mind with an 
ever-pressing weight, and governing the heart with 
mighty and efficient control. The various representa- 
tions and images employed suppose it to be a principle 
of power. Eeligion, according to the Scriptures, burns 
and glows like fire ; penetrates and flavours like salt ; 
sweeps and forces like the wind; struggles for develop- 
ment like ' a well of water springing up ; ' influences 
and transforms like leaven ; and bids defiance to all 
the elements of darkness like the day spring from on 
high. It is described, in action, as labouring with 
strenuous effort ; as striving even to agony; as running 
in a contested race ; as wrestling with every might of 


bone and muscle ; as fighting a deadly combat ; as 
hungering and thirsting after righteousness; as panting 
for the living God. No mere form of religion can ever 
correspond to such representations and images as these. 
They all necessarily imply activity of principle and 
force of character. The name of being alive is not 
life ; the painting of fire will not burn ; the picture of 
bread will not satisfy the hungry ; histrionic royalty 
is not kingly power ; a statue is not a man ; formality 
is not religion. The man who tries to support a 
religious character without an internal principle of 
vital power, is like the Spartan who tried to make a 
corpse to stand ; and the confession of both will be 
the same, — ' It wants something within.* " 

(2.) On whom is this power bestowed ? 

It was a special gift to the Apostles, who had a 
special work to do. They were to take this newly- 
formed system of Christianity into those places to 
which by the providence of God they were directed. 
Its institutions they were to fix and establish; its 
evidences they were to unfold and maintain; its 
doctrines they were to preach ; and its precepts they 
were to inculcate and enforce. This commission sub- 
jected them to danger — to ridicule from one class and 
hatred from another ; and, without superhuman help, 
success was impossible. But " power " was promised.' 
The Holy Spirit clothed them with fortitude to endure 
persecution ; patience under provocation ; calmness of 
temper when assaulted by ribaldry and insult ; ability 
for the discharge of duty ; and the power of working 
miracles to attest their mission. Under this promise 
they went forth, " God also bearing them witness, both 


with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and 
gifts of the Holy Ghost." 

As far as the miraculous power given to these men 
is concerned, they have no successors. But in deep- 
toned piety, in consuming zeal, and in spiritual 
preaching ability, we hope in God that they have 
many. And let it never be forgotten, that it was not 
the power to work miracles which made the Apostles 
the men they were, but the power of the Holy Ghost, 
in their own experience and in their public ministra- 
tions. Here is one of them, who a few days ago 
trembled violently under the challenge of a servant 
maid, and was so frightened by the subordinates 
of a Court of Justice that he denied his Lord with 
oaths and curses. But when the Pentecost robed him 
with "power," he rose above the sneers, and opposition, 
and cruelties of a nation, and died a noble martyr's 
death. We say again that this was not the result of 
any miracle-working power, but because the promise 
of the text was fulfilled. 

And here is what the modern pulpit requires. It 
is not scholastic parade, nor philological disquisition, 
nor scientific investigation ; much less is it low 
witticism, or coarse invective, or a wretched famili- 
arity, amounting in some cases well-nigh to blasphemy; 
but real, spiritual, saving power. Holy Ghost ! whose 
office it is to guard and fill the sacred desk, clothe 
thy Messengers with power ! 

But it is not needful to prove that this promise of 
power is given, not only to the Apostles, but to all 
Christians, and to all times. 

Christianity is spiritual power as it bears on 


individual conversion. Indeed, the whole scheme of 
redeeming mercy is one of power. 

In its provision : — Difficulties were in the way of 
restoration, which nothing hut divine power could 
remove. Man was in the grasp of the destroyer ; and 
none but " the Stronger One " could deliver him from 
" the strong man armed." 

In its application : — Christianity glories in the 
weapons which are of celestial temper, and seeks to 
achieve a victory over the strongholds of corruption, 
and sin, and hell. Fix your eye on the case of any 
poor sinner. Altogether under the power of Satan 
and depravity, he is strengthless to do good. He can 
neither think, nor feel, nor act, but as his manacles 
permit. The Holy Spirit comes upon him, and gives 
him power to repent of sin, and to believe in Christ. 
He is filled " with all joy and peace in believing, and 
abounds in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." 
And if the power of Christianity be thus displayed in 
the beginnings of spiritual life, it does not become 
less potent as the life matures. In time of temptation 
despondency supervenes ; but the Spirit gives power, 
and the Christian cries, " When I am weak, then am I 
strong." When duty urges, and his heart is fainting, 
the promise is fulfilled ; and striking at once into the 
patli of labour, he exclaims, " I can do all things 
through Christ which strengtheneth me." In the hour 
of affliction he is made strong in the Lord, and in the 
power of His might ; and in death's fatal pang In.; 
sings triumphantly, " Thanks be to God, winch giveth 
1110 the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ." 

-. External diffusion : " And ye shall be witnesses 



unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in 
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." 

(1.) Who are the witnesses ? " Ye," i.e. the Apostles 
who were separated from the world, and invested by 
Christ with their Commission. They were to witness 
for Him in moral darkness, in reviling, in bonds, in 
martyrdom. They had witnessed His life and death, 
and their testimony was to be given to the world. 

" Ye," i.e. ye Churches : " Ye are my witnesses, saith 
the Lord." To you He has committed the deposit of 
truth. Placed in a dark and wretched world, you are 
to hold forth the torch of the gospel, and witness for 

" Ye," i.e. ye individual Christians. Ye are to be 
your Saviour's living epistles, in whom all may read 
His character and claims. The world will take its 
views of Christ and Christianity very much from 
your testimony. If they see in you the beauty, and 
simplicity, and power of religion, they will render 
homage to your Master; but if they behold anything 
short of entire consecration, they will believe neither 
you nor Him. We endorse the statement, that " the 
character of Christians should make upon the world 
as distinct and vivid an impression of the reality of 
religion, as the print of a man's foot in the sands of 
the desolate island made of the certainty that a 
human being had been there. . The world will 

never do as the Church says, but as the Church does. 
When Christians do better we shall have a better 

(2.) What is the testimony ? " Unto me," i.e. both 
of me and for me ; witnesses of His wondrous life, of 


His sacrificial death, of His resurrection from the grave, 
and of His entrance into glory. They were to witness 
for Him ; for His honour, for His truth, for His claims, 
for His kingdom. And this they were to do by personal 
consecration, by incessant toil, by the endurance of 
trial, and by martyrdom itself. 

Here is our example. Christians are called into 
the succession of Apostles. The Saviour looks to you 
as His testimonials. He asks you to work, and speak, 
and think for Him. And He urges you to a nobler 
devotion, and sublimer attestation, by saying : " Ye 
have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." 

(3.) How wide is the sweep which the testimony must 
have ? " Both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in 
Samaria, aud unto the uttermost part of the earth." In 
the days of Messias, the world's population was divided 
into three classes. The Jews, who dwelt chiefly 
in Judea, and kept close in their religious ordin- 
ances to the Mosaic ritual : the Samaritans, who for 
long had been distinct from, and at enmity with, 
the Jews, but were not in pagan darkness : and the 
(Entiles, embracing all the lands and people of 

This Commission, therefore, included all. "In 
Jerusalem," where the sad tragedy had taken place, 
aud the Spirit's bestowment was so soon to take place. 
"And in all Judea," including the Southern division 
of the Holy Land, where the Apostles had hitherto 
laboured with little success. "And in Samaria," where, 
until this day, they had been forbidden to go. "And 
unto the uttermost part of the earth," that is, the 
whole Cjntile world. Here, then, was the demolition 


of the old Church boundaries, and the wider Com- 
mission given to the new. Christianity as a great 
spiritual system was to have universal scope, and 
realize a universal conquest. 

Is it, then, adapted to the wants of the wqrld ? Is 
there in it that which you would expect to find in a 
scheme of universal application ? In answer to these 
questions, we point to its spirituality, and say, that 
while every system which is distinguished by its 
materialism must decay and die, this, which is pre- 
eminently spiritual, must live and spread. One of the 
attributes of matter is decay. Everything material 
is perishable. The granite block is sometimes called 
everlasting, but it is a dying thing, and is mouldering 
every moment. The mountain proudly rears its head, 
as though it bade defiance to all time and influence ; 
but it is imperceptibly sinking, and will one day be 
crumbled into dust. The forest rises to maturity ; but 
the process of decay begins, and the once powerful oak 
now lies a heap of dead vegetable matter. The human 
frame is full of life, while the soul is in it ; but take 
the spirit away, and what is there left, but " corruption, 
earth, and worms"? So with religious systems. If 
there is nothing but the material and human, there is 
nothing but corruption. Nay, if, as in the case of 
Judaism, the material should predominate, it must 
eventually die. But if, as in Christianity, the human 
is subordinated to the divine, and spirituality is its 
great characteristic, it must live and spread. One of 
the properties of spirit is life. That which is spiritual 
does not die. It is not subject to the laws or power 
of death. Like its own great Source, it is undying, 


death having no dominion over it. Another property 
of spirit is extension. Matter cannot move. A stone 
cannot burst its trammels, and get away from its 
cramped dimensions. But spirituality spurns all 
bounds, and despises land-marks. No fetters can check 
it, no chains can bind it, no wall can encircle it. Free, 
aerial, immaterial, it careers its way through space and 
matter. Earth cannot hold it, worlds cannot satisfy it, 
the universe cannot compass it. It sports with suns, 
and stars, and spheres, and is only lost in God's own 

If, then, Christianity be a spiritual system, the 
theory of its universal adaptation is sound. But try 
the theory by fact. Paganism has been upheld for 
many ages by temporal authority ; but even this can no 
longer keep it up, and its very votaries now pronounce 
it to be effete. Mohammedanism gained an extended 
footing by the sword, and has been maintained for 
centuries by the scimitar; but the Crescent wanes, 
and the mosque is crumbling into ruins. Christianity 
began its course in the most unpromising corner of 
the globe. It had no human patron. Nor man, 
nor government lent it help; both gave to it their 
heartiest opposition. Its Founder was put to death, 
but it survived. Its friends were scattered, but it died 
not. Its followers were burnt at the stake, with the 
hope and purpose of its destruction; but, pluenix-like, 
it rose from the ashes, and spread with marvellous 
rapidity. Devils, and men, and systems were com- 
bined for its ruin ; but they were compelled to stand 
by, and see its onward march. All human calculations 
and predictions were at fault. It entered the cottage. 



and it reached the palace. It penetrated the Council 
chamber, and permeated the Cabinet. It stablished 
the homestead, and shook the throne. It guided 
individuals, and moulded the destinies of empires. 
It claimed to be the religion of the world, and never 
were its prospects of dominion so fair and bright as 

All other systems fail through lack of adaptation. 
They depend for success either upon brute force, or 
warmth of climate, or local circumstance. There are 
many parts of the world, where they would not even 
be tolerated, much less flourish. But where can you 
import Christianity, and it does not soon get rooted in 
the soil, and find itself at home ? It can endure all 
climates between the zones, and live in every heart 
under heaven. No matter what the mental qualifica- 
tions, or moral tendencies, or physical conformations ; 
no matter what the shape of head, or grade of intellect, 
or shade of colour; no matter what the variety of 
temporal condition, — there is in Christ's religion the 
supply for all. It is adapted to the young, whom it 
solemnly enjoins to remember their Creator, and before 
whom it places the most beautiful Example and power- 
ful motive : to the child, whose reason is just dawning, 
and whose affections are bursting into life, whose lips 
can scarcely yet express its thoughts and wishes, but 
whose tiny hand, pointing to the sky, is the index to 
the movements of the little world within : to the 
youth, who is passing through his training for man- 
hood's service, and in whose bosom growing aspirations 
are struggling for development : to the young man, 
whose prospects of life are opening before him, and 


whose imagination is revelling on a picture of earthly 
bliss too gorgeous perhaps to be realized, and too ideal 
to be true : to the maiden, in her modest retirement 
from public gaze, amid the attractiveness of social 
intercourse, or on her bridal morning: to the parent, 
whose solemn responsibilities cannot be pourtrayed by 
pen or pencil, and who is called to the study of human 
nature and character, in the dispositions, and tempers, 
and destinies of those around him : to the man of 
business, whose temptations and anxieties are manifold, 
as his mind is fixed on the doctrines of financial and 
political economy : to the old man, who with tottering 
step is moving down the hill, and ever and anon 
throws an anxious look into the valley before him : to 
the statesman, who in some measure grasps the weal 
or woe of nations, and whose policy may become the 
admiration or execration of the civilised world : to the 
Sovereign, whose person it bedecks with more than 
human beauty, on whose character it sheds a greater 
lustre than that of pearl and diamond, and whose 
throne it establishes in righteousness : to the man 
whose intellect is so minute and weak, as that by 
some he may be called half-witted ; as well as to the 
man whose intellect is colossal in its structure, and 
whose mind is almost as capacious as that of an 
angel: to the peasant, with simple thought and 
phrase, moving among nature's beauties ; and to 
the philosopher, who penetrates into nature's secrets, 
and careers his way through worlds on worlds ex- 
tending : to the poor, who by reason of poverty's 
pinch ings are in danger of challenging and con- 
demning the righteousness of God ; and to the rich, 


whose luxury, and retinue, and power tempt them 
to forget that there is a God at all : to the hard-toiling 
labourer, whose horny hands, and sweaty brow, and 
weary limbs tell of old Adam's curse ; and to the 
employer, who ought to have other objects than those 
of accumulating wealth : to the man in sickness, 
with whom already death seems to be in strife, who, 
as he passes by your door, looks but the shadow of 
humanity ; as well as to the man in health, whose 
vigorous step, and symmetry, and bloom, are bidding 
defiance to decay, but whose time of battle and defeat 
will surely come : to the slave, whose ever-clanking 
chains, and stripes, and moans proclaim his misery ; 
and to his wicked master, whose greatest tyranny must 
soon be ended, and who on a coming day shall prove 
that in this Christianity, as in Christ Himself, there 
" is neither bond nor free :" to the savage, as he roams 
his native forests ; and to the citizen, in his safe and 
cheerful home : to all — no matter where or who ; to 
all below the angels and above the brutes ; to all who 
have been ransomed by the price of blood ; to all — to 
all, this Gospel is adapted : 

' ' For all my Lord was crucified ; 
For all, foe all, my Saviour died. " 

1. Let us learn our personal duty. 

First, to accept, in all its saving and purifying 
power, this Christianity for ourselves, and then to offer 
it with all earnestness and confidence to others. There 
is so much of sameness in the depravity, and tendencies, 
and capabilities of human nature, that that scheme of 
mercy which meets my case must be good for others ; 


and that which shall save the world, may surely save 
me. " I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ ; for 
it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that 

2. Let us ever remember where our strength licth. Not 
in ourselves ; not in each other ; not in machinery or 
systems ; but in God — God the Holy Ghost. The 
doctrine of divine influence must be stedfastly main- 
tained. It is the Church's life. We have all the 
machinery that is necessary for the spread of Chris- 
tianity. Our crying want is the want of spiritual 
power. " Come from the four winds, breath ; and 
breathe upon these slain, that they may live." 



" Pilate saith unto him, What is truth ?" — John xviii. 38. 

THIS question closes an impressive interview be- 
tween two noted, but widely different, characters. 
The scene is a Court of Justice, where Eoman law is 
administered, and yet it is in the centre of the Jewish 
Capital. On the one side, there stands Jesus of 
Nazareth ; who, though the Lord and the final Judge of 
the universe, is now in bonds, and is required to answer 
to a charge, the penalty annexed to which is death. 
On the other side, there sits, as Judge upon the case, 
Pontius Pilate, the Provincial Governor : born a slave ; 
trained in deceit ; having vaulted into power by 
intrigue ; and now, with a stained reputation and 
bloody hands, arbitrating on His conduct Who spake 
as never man spake, in Whose mouth there was no 
guile, and in Whose life there was no sin. Our Divine 
Eedeemer had already passed through the exciting 
scenes of His Ministry, and had entered upon those 
of His passion ; for the agony of Gethsemane and His 
arraignment and condemnation in the chamber of the 
Sanhedrim were now things of the past. With 
indecent haste He was hurried, bound, to the judg- 
ment hall in which the Governor presided. The Jews, 


TRUTH. 305 

under pretence of religious scruples, would not step 
over the threshold of the building. It belonged to 
their Gentile conquerors, and they hypocritically 
avowed that it would defile them to touch it. The 
Accused was thrust within the Court ; the accusers 
stood without the gate ; while Pilate, anxious to curry 
favour with the Jews, passed between the two, as the 
examination proceeded. He first reasoned with the 
people ; and then the interview to which the text 
refers took place in the Hall between him and Christ. 
He inquired touching those treasonable acts which 
were laid to His charge. But the Saviour triumph- 
antly met the accusation, by pointing to the loyal and 
peaceable conduct of His followers — at the same time 
intimating that He did rule a kingdom, though not 
of earth. This announcement, however, startled the 
Judge ; who, supposing that he had found a clue to 
treason, quickly said: "Art thou a king then?" 
Jesus answered, " Thou sayest that I am a king. To 
this end was I born, and for this cause came I into 
the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. 
Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." 
And then, " Pilate saith unto him, What is truth ?" 

There is a double strangeness about this question. 
Jesus did not answer it, and the Governor did not 
press it Though in the words just uttered by the 
Saviour, He intimates that one principal object of 
His mission was to enlighten men; and in another 
place declares, " I am the light of the world ;" and 
though now a poor, dark, impure heathen is before 
Him asking for light, and putting one of the most 
solemn questions that ever passed from human lips ; 


306 . TRUTH. 

He who alone could answer it is silent. He does 
not even condescend to notice it. But, on the other 
hand, is it not amazing that Pilate could so readily 
pass on to something else, seeming to forget that such 
a question had ever been asked ? He had discerned 
the prejudice of the Jews, and assured himself that 
their charge was groundless. He had doubtless heard 
of the fame of those miracles which the Accused had 
wrought. He must have been impressed with the 
lustre of the wisdom and virtue which now shone 
before him. And yet he appears careless as to 
whether he receives a reply or not. But, ah ! Jesus 
saw that His Judge had no real love for the truth ; 
and Pilate thought that it was not worth a second 

Let us, however, profit by the warning which is 
thus conveyed ; and with a high appreciation of our 
personal interest in it, ask the question : " What is 

I. What the Truth is in its Relations to Man. 
II. What the Truth is in its Relations to God. 

I. What the Truth is in its Eelations to Man. 

This question which the Eoman Viceroy proposed 
has been reproduced in every age, and discussed in 
every society. Poets have invoked the aid of truth, 
and swept the lyre in her commendation. Painters 
have consecrated pencil and imagination at her shrine, 
and have devoted a lifelong labour to do her honour. 
The statuary has implored her inspiration, while his 
soul has burned within him to make the marble speak 

TRUTH. 307 

her praise. Philosophers have descanted on her match- 
less and hidden beauties. Moralists have sternly en- 
forced her claims. Statesmen have reverently bowed 
to do her honour ; while the pulpit has always been 
regarded as her throne. Poetry, minstrelsy, art, science, 
philosophy, morality, religion, have weaved many a 
garland, and gracefully hung it upon her brow. " 

Truth has been pourtrayed as the crowning and 
consummating virtue. 

' ' For how much more doth Beauty beauteous seem 
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give ; 
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem 
For that sweet odour which doth in it live." 

But after all, truth is the most despised and dis- 
honoured person the world has in it. The very pulpit 
has attempted to dethrone her. A false philosophy 
has disfigured her. Science so-called has destroyed 
her symmetry. Art has been prostituted to her 
dishonour. Poetry in ribald language and impure 
imagination has despoiled her features, and clothed 
her sacred person iu rags and filth ; while human 
passion has seized and hurled her to the ground, 
trampled upon her innocency, and left her there to 
die. But though often in the dust, forlorn, forsaken, 
weeping, bleeding, apparently in the agonies of death, 
I believe in her divinity ; that God will come to her 
rescue ; that heaven shall welcome her restoration and 
ascendency ; for " Truth shall spring out of the earth, 
and righteousness shall look down from heaven." 

" Truth crushed to earth shall rise again, 
The eternal years of God nre hers ; 
While error, wounded, writhes in pain, 
And dies amidst her worshippers. " 

308 . TRUTH. 

We do not now, however, look at truth as an 
impersonation, so much as in reference to those several 
meanings which the word bears in daily, practical life. 

In its Eelations to Men. — The term Truth is 
ordinarily " used in opposition to falsehood, and applied 
to propositions which answer or accord to the nature 
and reality of a thing whereof something is affirmed 
or denied." There is a natural or physical truth, as 
when that which is seen corresponds exactly with that 
which is said ; and we are told that " all beauty is 
truth. True features make the beauty of a face, and 
true proportions the beauty of architecture, and true 
measures that of harmony and music." 

Metaphysical truth is when that which is stated is 
accordant with the divine idea. Logical truth is when 
the proposition or assertion is conformable to things 
which exist. Ethical or moral truth divides itself 
into two parts. First, it is the conformity of our 
words with our thoughts ; and, secondly, the con- 
formity of our acts with our words. It demands that 
we speak as we think, and that we practise what we 
profess. This is at the foundation of all safe and 
honourable dealing among men. He who violates 
moral truth is a liar ; and while he is branded as a 
pest and a danger to human society, he can have no 
part in the kingdom of heaven. If truth and virtue 
are not synonymous, they are inseparable. The 
chaplet which fits the one sits queenly upon the 
brow of the other. Well says the old and eloquent 
essayist, " The study of truth is perpetually joined 
with the love of virtue; for there is no virtue which 

TRUTH. 309 

derives not its original from truth, as, on the contrary, 
there is no vice which has not its beginning from a 
lie. Truth is the foundation of all knowledge, and 
the cement of all society." 

1. Truth demands that our words correspond with our 
thoughts. There are some virtues which, however 
much you may eulogize them, do not need a defence. 
They bear upon their countenance their own unde- 
niable claims. You would never think of entering 
into a formal argument in defence of truth as an 
abstract quality When it becomes embodied, and 
stands before the world as a system, presenting its 
facts, enforcing its claims, and rearing its institutions, 
then its supporters must be prepared to fight for it. 
But, observe, they have to struggle for the system 
which they believe to be the embodiment of the truth, 
and not for the virtue simply in itself; for you rarely 
find a man so depraved as to contend with you against 
truth as such. You would not seriously argue with 
anybody as to the beauty of an object if you were 
both agreed that it was beautiful. As you gaze upon 
a grand scene in nature, such as is often presented 
beneath an Italian sky, — the mountain, vale, and river 
in beautiful proportions, the copse dotting the green- 
sward, the corn-field waving in rich luxuriance, the 
herds browsing along the upland, or slaking their 
thirst at the pearly stream as it gushes through the 
rocky fissure, — you never think of defending it. You 
might meet with a man Goth enough to deny its 
beauty, and you might try to convince him that he 
was wrong ; but if you are both agreed as to the sub- 
limity of the scene, you have no quarrel with each 

3 io TRUTH. 

other because it is sublime. You would not spend 
your time in proving that the cascade, as it throws its 
pretty spray over you from yon rocky height, is a 
beautiful object ; nor that the ripples of the deep-blue 
lake, as the sun's rays dance upon them, are beautiful ; 
nor that the softly radiant and pure and laughing eye 
of childhood is a thing of pleasure. The common 
sense of humanity agrees with you, and there is no 
controversy. And so with truth. We do not defend 
it in the sense of maintaining that truth is right and 
good, for it carries with it the universal suffrage of 

There are some virtues whose loveliness is best 
represented by painting the hideousness of their cor- 
responding vices. The beauty of truth is seen by 
pourtraying the deformity of a lie. Notwithstanding 
' the prevalency of this sin, it is universally condemned. 
It is true the Church of Rome not only connives at 
lying, when the purpose is to further her own interest ; 
but in certain circumstances dignifies the act, by 
clothing it in the most splendid garments that virtue 
wears. So in some parts of heathendom. But what* 
ever the systems of men may say and do, the indi- 
vidual conscience of the world pronounces against the 
sin. A liar dishonours God, who is a God of truth, 
and whose flaming eye pierces the understanding and 
pours its scorching rays upon the thoughts and intents 
of the heart. The liar is a disgrace to humanity. He 
who can intentionally deceive his fellow-creatures gives 
up all claim to manhood, forfeits the respect and con- 
fidence of his fellows, puts himself below a brute, and 
stands gibbeted before the universe as a traitor to his 

TRUTH. 311 

race. A Christian can have no difficulty in deciding 
the question which so greatly vexed the schoolmen of 
former times, as to whether it may be lawful in any 
case to utter with the lips what we know to be false. 
Men have not been wanting to affirm the proposition 
that the happiness of individuals or communities may 
be better promoted by falsehood than by truth, and 
that in all such cases falsehood ceases to be a vice. 
"We indignantly reject the statement and the conclu- 
sion. Let our worldly circumstances fall to ruin ; let 
our fortunes be wrecked and our homes desolated ; let 
thrones be dismantled and constitutions broken up ; 
let our hearths be invaded and our children hurried into 
slavery ; let our poor bodies pine and die and rot, if 
it require a lie to save them. Let poverty come, and 
anguish come, and the war-cry come, and chains come, 
and the faggot-flame come, and death come, if we may 
only be saved from them by denying God and uttering 
a lie. "We repudiate for ever the doctrine that false- 
hood may be justified, and the whole Bible is on our 
side. St. Paul, with a righteous anger, says : " For if 
the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie 
unto his glory ; why yet am I also judged as a sinner ? 
And not rather (as we be slanderously reported, and 
as some affirm that we say), Let us do evil, that good 
may come ? whose damnation is just." 

It is not needful to affirm that the whole truth is 
on every occasion to be stated. The interests of society 
never demand that falsehood shall be uttered, though 
they may sometimes require that reserve be exercised. 
Solomon says that " a fool uttereth all his mind ; but 
a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards." But while 

3i2 TRUTH. 

this much we are willing to allow ; we are bound to 
say, that where concealment and partial representations 
either injure a character or prevent a right decision, 
they are as criminal as the most barefaced untruth. 
And we endorse the statement, that while truth is 
violated by falsehood, it may be equally outraged by 
silence. Falsehood is a monster of many shapes. 
There are lies of thoughtlessness. A man utters what 
is incorrect ; not, perhaps, because he wickedly intended 
to deceive, but because he did not trouble to inquire 
before he made his utterance. There are lies of boast- 
ing. A man is puffed up with pride and hunger after 
fame, and says what is not true, but he damages him- 
self probably more than others. There are lies of 
exaggeration. A warm temperament sets the imagina- 
tion on fire ; and if that imagination be not controlled 
% by truth, it runs riot, and pictures up what becomes 
equal to a falsehood. There are professional lies. The 
lawyer assures his client as to the justice of his case, 
and the certainty of a verdict in his favour, when he 
knows that at least there are grave doubts, if not the 
certainty of a defeat. The physician assures his 
patient that the case is not dangerous, certainly not 
desperate, when he knows that the disease is gaining 
ground, and that death is at hand. There are lies for 
gain. Solomon pourtrays a commercial liar : " It is 
naught, it is naught, saith the buyer ; but when he is 
gone his way, then he boasteth." The purchaser main- 
tains that an article is worse in quality and less in value 
than he believes it to be. The seller declares that the 
bale or the hogshead cost more than it really did, and 
that it is worth more than in his conscience he believes 

TRUTH. 313 

it to be. There are also lies of slander and revenge. 
From the mere lust of self-gratification, a man will 
falsely blast the reputation of his neighbour, because 
he has received a fancied wrong ; sometimes by a vile 
insinuation, sometimes by a tangled web of hints and 
suspicions, and sometimes by open ribald falsehood will 
he seek his ruin. 

" Skill'd by a touch to deepen Scandal's tints, 

With all the kind mendacity of hints, 

While mingling Truth with Falsehood, sneers with smiles, 

A thread of candour with a web of wiles ; 
A plain, blunt show of briefly spoken seeming, 
To hide her bloodless Heart's soul-hardened scheming ; 

A lip of lies ; a face formed to conceal ; 

And without feeling, mock at all who feel, 

With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown 

A cheek of parchment, and an eye of stone." 

2. Ethical Truth requires that our acts correspond 
with our words or profession. Unconditional promises 
are always to be fulfilled, and those too which are 
made conditionally, unless the condition fail. The 
word of a Christian is his oath, and a vow uttered 
with the lips, whether in public or private, is as 
binding as if attended with all the formalities of a 
legal bond. It is unhappily true that we are so 
accustomed to meet with falsehood in daily life, that 
the old stinging satire has gained a general currency, 
viz. that it is a question whether the absolute dominion 
of truth would be compatible with the existence of any 
society now upon the face of the earth. Pure truth, 
like pure gold, has been found unfit for circulation, 
because men have discovered that it is far more con- 
venient to adulterate the truth than to refine them- 

3 i4 . TRUTH. 

selves. They will not advance their minds to the 
standard : they therefore lower the standard to their 
minds. And here again the most effectual method of 
recommending practical virtue is to exhibit and 
transfix practical vice. There is many a man whose 
cheek would crimson in a moment, and whose soul 
would burn with indignation, if you openly branded 
him as a liar ; and yet he is acting falsehood every 
day. You can lie by silence as well as with the lips. 
You can look a lie. You can smile a lie. You can 
act a lie by the wave of your hand, or the movement 
of your head. Look into the commercial world, and 
mark how the introduction of practical falsehood into 
the management of its concerns has led to panic, and 
disorganization, and ruin. The setting up of a large 
establishment without capital is an attempt to deceive 
both creditors and the public, and is a standing lie. 
A great number of the business advertisements of our 
time are falsehoods, because they do not correspond 
with facts, and are intended to deceive. That which 
is called a sample, but is really better than the bulk, 
is a lie. Every act of adulteration, whether in manu- 
facture or commerce, unless so distinctly stated, is a lie. 
By such falsehoods, that grand commercial system which 
was designed by Providence to bind man to man, and 
under God has done much to enrich, and elevate, and 
bless our land, is disgraced and degraded by, we would 
fain hope, only a few ; but unless the bulk of our 
merchants and men of business who are yet honest and 
truthful rise up and demand its regeneration, truth will 
claim that in many of its features it be swept from the 
face of the earth. Look into the social world, and you 

TRUTH. 315 

will find that falsehood has gone before you. Many 
of the ties which unite worldly society are flimsy and 
rotten. Many of the compliments, and some of the 
courtesies, of life, are falsehoods. The word of welcome 
upon the lips, and the smile of welcome upon the 
countenance, while the heart is rebelling against both, 
are a lie. The invitation given in the hope that it 
will be declined is a lie. The fashionable call, implying 
friendship, but made simply because the tyranny of 
fashion demands it, is a lie. The family which climbs 
up into a higher grade of society than its means really 
warrant, and to maintain an attractive appearance and 
show of grandeur has to involve itself in difficulties 
and finally in ruin, is a living lie. Ah ! this tyranny 
of fashion ! How much personal happiness does it 
blast, and how much social comfort does it destroy ! 
It has chilled many a warm hearthstone, and darkened 
many a sunny circle. 

" Fashion, a word which knaves and fools may use, 
Their knavery and folly to excuse." 

But the Christian will blush to think that the 
religious world is not free from falsehood. There are 
some professing Christians, whose whole life is a lie. 
They perhaps entered the Church with a view to gain. 
They judged that it would secure for them a position 
and character of respectability. They have called 
themselves the followers of Christ, and have had their 
names written on the Church's register, and it may be 
emblazoned in the lists of the Church contributions ; 
and yet all these years they have been strangers to 
the saving joy and power of religion. And then, alas ! 

3 i6 TRUTH. 

is it not true that the very pulpit itself has too 
frequently been the vehicle of falsehood ? We implore 
the young people of our time to build up for them- 
selves characters of truth. Let the foundation be well 
laid by a personal cousecration to Christ, who is the 
Source of truth. Let one stone be placed upon another 
under the guidance of Gospel principles, which are the 
foundation and safeguard of truth ; and then the 
building will assume proportions of beauty, and sym- 
metry, and strength, and by and by the topstone will 
be brought on with shoutings ; and while yourselves 
and the world will obtain the benefit, the God of truth 
will have all the glory. Be resolved that your motives 
shall be pure and your purposes transparent. Never 
commit yourselves to a crooked policy. Having 
entered upon a Christian path, be determined to pursue 
it with simplicity and integrity. Philosophers will 
tell you that light always travels in straight lines. It 
will not run round a mountain, either to kiss the lake, 
or to embrace a flower. Onward does it move, quickly 
but straightly, on its errand of mercy. Oh ! imitate 
the light ; and having " renounced the hidden things 
of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling 
the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of 
the truth," commend yourselves " to every man's con- 
science in the sight of God." 

II. What the Truth is in its Eelations to God. 

1. Observe that truth is a divine attribute. Jehovah 
is a God of truth. Some men pretend to dignify this 
virtue by calling her the daughter of time. He who 
believes the Bible emphatically designates her the 

TRUTH. 317 

daughter of God. " It is impossible that God should 
lie." " He is not a man that he should lie." " His 
truth reacheth unto the clouds," and it " endureth for 
ever." Here is our assurance of the divine veracity, 
and the belief of this lies at the basis of all religion. 
" And this is life eternal, to know thee the only true 
God." He is inBnitely perfect in knowledge, and 
cannot be deceived. He is infinitely holy, and cannot 
deceive us. But the divine faithfulness, as well as 
veracity, is assured to us here. The God of truth 
will fulfil His word. His promises are firm. His 
threatenings are sure. None of His engagements can 
be broken. " Heaven and earth shall pass away," but 
His " word shall not pass away." 

2. Truth is embodied in the divine government. The 
throne upon which Jehovah sits and governs the 
world is designated the throne of truth, because that 
government is executed in exact conformity with its 
utterances. " A God of truth and without iniquity, 
just and right is he." The principles on which the 
government is based are principles of truth. The 
laws, according to which the government is exercised, 
are framed in truth. The promises which the govern- 
ment offers, and its threatenings, are truth. And the 
judgment which the government contemplates will be 
fulfilled in truth. "In mercy shall the throne be 
established, and he shall sit upon it in truth 
judging and seeking judgment, and hasting righteous- 
ness." Sin will not go unpunished, and a life of 
holy zeal will be rewarded. It is true Jehovah is 
represented as changing His conduct towards men ; 
but this is because they change their relations towards 

3 i8 . TRUTH. 

Him. His government has respect to character: and 
His truth demands that every man be rewarded 
according to his works. " He shall bring forth 
judgment unto truth." 

3. Truth is embodied in the, person and work of 
Christ. "As the truth is in Jesus," says St. Paul. 
The most perfect exhibition of truth is in Christ. 
Indeed the highest revelations of Deity are found in 
the incarnate Word. Not in the pantheistic, but in 
the Christian sense, do we gratefully say that God 
is seen everywhere, — in the tiniest insect floating 
through the atmosphere ; in the dew-drop, as it lies 
upon the leafy couch, and sparkles in the sun ; in the 
calycle of every plant, and the petal of every flower ; 
in the fleecy clouds careering overhead, and in every 
object around on which you can fix your eye. The 
voice of God is heard in the sighing of the winds, and 
the music of the waves, and the thunders of the 
storm. And " Earth with her ten thousand voices 
praises God." More perfect, however, than the revela- 
tions which nature affords of the Divine Being, are 
those of the Bible, for these put God before us in His 
moral attributes and relations. But most glorious of 
all are those vouchsafed to us in the person of Christ, 
who is the very " image of the invisible God." So may 
we say of truth. Its source and embodiment and 
exhibition are in Christ. You may look abroad upon 
the Church and the lives of individual Christians, and 
you may witness its fertilizing presence and influence ; 
but tracing the stream upwards and backwards to its 
fount, you will come to Him who said, " I am the way, 
the truth, and the life." " As the truth is in Jesus." 

TRUTH. 319 

The facts of His life embody the truth ; the 
character of His death exhibits and upholds the truth ; 
and the doctrines He taught proclaim the truth. 

(1.) See the facts of His life. There is a rich sim- 
plicity and beauty in the gospel histories, never found 
in narratives that are not true to fact. Fiction resorts 
to plots, and labyrinth, and complication, and stratagem, 
and sudden surprise, to produce its effect; and after 
all, you feel that though the plan may be ingenious, 
and the execution artistic, and the consummation 
startling, the whole thing is a mischief, because it is 
unreal and untrue. But mark the freshness and 
transparency and power of the Redeemer's history. 
Eemember how His birth had been foretold, both as to 
time and place and circumstances, and that everything 
was fulfilled in Bethlehem of Judea. Note the 
checkered and thrilling scenes of childhood — His 
circumcision, presentation in the Temple, Simeon's 
valediction, and Anna's song of praise ; the visit of 
the Magi, the flight from persecution, and the return 
from Egypt ; His journey to Jerusalem when twelve 
years old, and public conference with the doctors of 
the law. Observe how, after thirty years of filial 
subjection and manual labour, He enters upon public 
life. His baptism, fasting, and temptation ; the 
commencement of His ministry, the interviews with 
Nicodemus and the woman of Samaria, all follow 
in close succession. He then makes His home at 
Capernaum, calls His disciples, ordains the Apostles, 
preaches the Sermon on the Mount, and sends by His 
servants a message of mercy to the different parts of 
the Country. Then He is transfigured. Coming down 

3 2o ^ TRUTH. 

from Tabor, He blesses little children, subjects Himself 
to the contumely and violence of His enemies, tells 
the impending ruin of the Holy City and of some 
provincial towns, utters His parables, works His 
miracles, and openly proclaims Himself the Messiah. 
See how His short public life is yet crowded with 
incident. He raises Lazarus from the dead, travels 
again the circuit of Galilee, passes through Jericho, 
comes to Bethany, makes His triumphal entry into 
Jerusalem, and then looks forward to the last sad 
scenes. He institutes the Eucharist, prays for His 
disciples, agonizes in the garden, is betrayed, forsaken, 
mocked, tried, scourged, crowned, and crucified. The 
heavens put on their own sackcloth, the reeling and 
gaping earth vitters its sympathetic groan : the last 
wail from the Cross is heard, and the Messias dies. 
The tomb accepts its tenant, but not for long : the 
precious morning dawns, the resurrection is accom- 
plished, the forty days glide by, the Holy Ghost is 
promised, the Gospel Commission is announced, the 
glorious mount is climbed, the parting benediction is 
vouchsafed : " And it came to pass, while he blessed 
them, he was parted from them, and carried up into 

This narrative is true to fact. There is no colour- 
ing to produce effect. All that is here attributed to 
Christ, He did, or said, or suffered. And as the history 
is true, so the facts themselves are in harmony with 
that great work of mediation which Christ came to 
fulfil. The redemption of our world is based upon the 

(2.) And while the life of Jesus embodies the truth, 

TRUTH. 321 

tJie character of His death exhibits and upholds it. Truth 
requires that if the sinner may live, a greater than the 
sinner must die. Justice could not he content with 
a human victim ; for after such a sacrifice had been 
offered, the sword, unsatisfied, would have pressed its 
demand for blood. Our Redeemer, therefore, is God ; 
for in Him " dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead 
bodily." Truth also demands that He who dies for 
man, must be human as well as divine ; and so Jesus 
Christ was " of the seed of David according to the 
Hesh ; " and He " bare our sins in his own body on the 
tree." Truth, moreover, claims that the offering be 
strictly propitiatory. Xow the Saviour died, not for 
Himself, for He knew no sin ; but He died for a guilty 
race. " He is the propitiation for our sins ; and not 
for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole 

(3.) The doctrines of Jesus proclaim the truth. If 
you are correct in the statement that truth is the 
exact conformity of the utteranoe to that which exists, 
you may triumphantly point to the sayings of the 
great Teacher. Mark the adaptation of His doctrines 
to the wants and circumstances of men. One of the 
features of our fallen human nature is iffnomnce. The 
understanding is darkened — " alienated from the life of 
God, through the ignorance that is in us, because of 
the blindness of our hearts." That therefore which 
our darkness requires is light. Now, if the teachings 
of the Gospel are marked by confusedness of thought, 
«>r want of clear comprehensive announcement; if 
they are silent on those great topics on which man 
wants information ; and if they tend to increase, rather 


322 . TRUTH. 

than remove, our ignorance ; they are not the truth. 
But if the words of Christ are words of light ; if they 
make known to man that which beyond everything 
else he ought to know ; if they tell him of the God he 
has forgotten, and the sin he has committed, and the 
relationship he has disregarded, and the duty he has 
neglected, and the privilege he has despised, and the 
heaven there is before him, and the hell-fire at his 
feet — who shall say that they are not the truth? 
"Well may the prophecy be quoted in reference to 
Christ : " The law of truth was in his mouth ;" and 
well might He Himself thus challenge a benighted race : 
" I am the light of the world : he that followeth me 
shall not walk in darkness ; but shall have the light 
of life." 

Another feature of fallen human nature is depravity. 
While man is ignorant, he is polluted. In mind, and 
heart, and life, he is impure. " From the sole of the 
foot, even unto the head, there is no soundness in it ; 
but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores." If 
the doctrines of the New Testament foster, rather 
than combat, this depravity ; if they tend to defile the 
understanding, and pollute the heart, and corrupt the 
life, they are not what man requires, and are not the 
truth. But if they frown upon and threaten impurity ; 
if they enjoin sanctity in conduct, and in conversation, 
and even in thought ; if they put before us the divine 
source of holiness, and allure us toward it, they meet 
our case, and are therefore the truth. The purity 
of the Saviour's personal character is mirrored in the 
doctrines which He revealed ; just as the natural face 
is seen in the glass, or as the rays of light are reflected 

TRUTH. 323 

in the translucent and sunlit waves. Where is the 
verse, or the line, or the syllable of Christ's teaching, 
that either sanctions, or fosters, or entertains depravity? 
The earnest, tender, and commanding utterance of the 
voice divine is : " Be ye holy, for I am holy." 

Man's fallen condition is one of misery. He is 
ignorant and depraved, and therefore unhappy. If the 
doctrines of Jesus afford him no hope, but shut him up 
in black despair; if with fiendish glee they laugh at his 
calamity, and probe the wound which they have neither 
the design nor ability to heal, they are not in conformity 
with our wants, and are not the truth. But if they tell 
the poor, weeping, wretched, dying sinner of a Saviour ; 
if they wipe away his tears, heal his hurts, and bind 
up his broken heart ; if they pour in comfort, and fill 
his soul with peace and joy in believing, he feels that 
they are for him, and must be the truth. We claim the 
universal suffrages of the good in favour of the blessed- 
ness of Christ's religion. Its great design is to make 
men happy. When the sun ascends our horizon, and 
chases away the darkness of night, he takes his course 
up and across the heavens, and throws his radiations 
over the earth, making every dewdrop a pearl, every 
stone a brilliant, every field a garden, and every garden 
a paradise. The hemisphere is bathing in the light 
and revelling in the sunshine. It seems as if the smile 
of the upper were falling upon and drying up the tears 
of the lower world. It seems as if heaven were kiss- 
ing the earth in ecstasy, and throwing over the face of 
it its own radiant joy. Jesus is Himself the sun, and 
His teachings are its radiations. His " ways are ways 
of pleasantness," and all His " paths are peace." 

324 . TRUTH. 

A crowning feature of man's fallen nature is his 
exposure to perdition. He is ignorant, and depraved, 
and miserable, and his desert is hell. Now, if the 
doctrines of Christ do not penetrate into the future ; if 
they consign him without reason and without remedy 
to the pit ; if they tell him that there is no heaven, 
and no hereafter but one of misery, they do not meet 
his case, and are not the truth. But if they assert 
that though fallen he is redeemed, and though dead he 
may live ; that though he deserves hell, there is pre- 
pared for him a mansion in the skies, they tell him 
what he needs to know, and what is the truth. The 
great Teacher unfolded a future state of bliss, and urged 
it upon man's acceptance. " Life and immortality " 
are brought " to light through the Gospel." 

4. We are therefore now prepared for the conclu- 
sion, that the truth is the Gospel, and that the Gospel is 
the truth. This divine system of teaching is emphati- 
cally called the truth. God " will have all men to be 
saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." 
And it is the only system the world has in it that is 
unmixed with error. Heathenism is a gigantic scheme 
of imposture. It may well be designated " an assem- 
blage of falsehood — false gods, false temples, false 
sacrifices, false hopes, and false fears." Its philosophy 
adopted such maxims as these : that " a lie is better 
than a hurtful truth ; " that " good is better than 
truth ; " that " he may lie who knows how to do it 
in a fit season ; " that " there is nothing decorous in 
truth but when it is profitable." The Apostle assures 
us that heathenism has even turned the truth of God 
into a lie. Popery is a great system of falsehood, and 

TRUTH. 325 

not the less pernicious because there is in it a large 
admixture of truth. The infallibility of its head is a 
fiction ; its pretended miracles are falsehoods ; purga- 
tory is a lie ; saint-worship and relic-worship are 
forgeries ; the equal authority of tradition with revela- 
tion, and many other of the tenets of Eomanism, are 
to be branded as " lying wonders." Socinianism is a 
falsehood. It blots out the sun, by a denial of the 
deity of Christ. It dams up the very fountain ; and if 
there be any flow at all, it is because the seal put upon 
the spring is not sufficiently strong to hold down the 
truth. Antinomianism is a lie ; the doctrine of human 
righteousness is false. The Gospel is that alone which 
stands before us as immutable and eternal truth. 

The claims which this Gospel presents to such a 
distinction are founded on evidence clear and irresist- 
ible. The confidence with which the Apostles designate 
it the- truth might be regarded as guilty presumption, 
if they were not assured that they were speaking of 
a system which is divine. The greatest of pagan 
teachers never ventured to speak thus of their philo- 
sophy. Though men of acutest understanding and 
persevering research, they had often to confess that 
truth was beyond their grasp. And you can only 
account for the language of the Gospel messenger, by 
the fact that he spake " not in the words which man's 
wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth." 
He could triumphantly point to the fulfilment of 
prophecy in evidence of its claims. He could remind 
his hearers of the many miracles wrought in attesta- 
tion of it. He could tell them of its blessed effects 
in his own experience, and humbly but boldly affirm 

326 . TRUTH. 

his willingness to join the noble army of martyrs, and 
seal the truth with his own blood. 

This Gospel has been increasing and accumulating 
its evidences in every age. It bears on its very face 
the stamp of truth. It tells man a fact which he 
cannot gainsay, that he is a sinner, and that as a 
sinner he is already in misery, and is exposed to 
death for ever. It opens up before him a fountain 
for his uncleanness, offers a balm for his distress, a 
purity for his whole nature, and a heaven beyond the 
grave. It discloses the plan by which this mercy may 
be his, the conditions on which salvation is offered, 
the privileges secured, and the. obligations imposed. 
It sets before him the dread realities of the judgment, 
the eternity of bliss and of woe, and by every hallowed 
consideration which can influence a human being, it 
urges him to embrace the one and to shun the other. 
These sublime truths have produced their legitimate 
results. They have made the sinner a saint, purify- 
ing his heart, hallowing his thoughts, sanctifying his 
lips, and regenerating his life. They have transformed 
the blasphemer into a man of prayer. They have made 
the profligate chaste, the Sabbath-breaker devout, the 
liar truthful, the selfish liberal, and the child of the 
devil they have made a son of God. 

This Gospel has shed an influence over domestic 
life. It has changed the hearthstone into an altar, 
the chamber into an oratory, the closet into a 
sanctuary, and the place of business into a Bethel. 
It has given laws and constitutions to nations. It has 
established and exalted the throne. It has made the 
rich affable, and the poor contented. It has sanctified 

TRUTH. 327 

the relationships of life, and is now preparing the 
world for the second coming of its Lord, There is for 
this Gospel a magnificent future. It shall witness the 
beariug down and crushing under foot of all opposi- 
tion, the elevation and blessedness of the whole human 
race, the re-linking of earth and heaven, which sin had 
so sadly severed, the full prophetic union of the God- 
head and the manhood, and the long-sighed-for con- 
summation when the kingdoms of this world shall 
" become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ ; 
and he shall reign for ever and ever." 

Application. — 1. A word of warning ; especially to 
the young and those rising up to manhood. Never trifle 
with truth, or parley with falsehood. Kemember that the 
man's character is gone who cannot be believed. The 
hateful habit of lying is not found alone. He who can 
intentionally deceive* his neighbour will probably filch 
his purse, or blast his reputation. In the vast rolling 
prairies of America, you may travel for hundreds of 
miles, without seeing a house, a rock, a cascade, or 
even a tree. The vegetation grows to a great height, 
and affords shelter to countless animals and reptiles. 
In the summer season this long grass is as diy as 
tinder. As the traveller rides heedlessly- along, he 
lets fall a spark upon it, aud the grass becomes ignited. 
Thoughtlessly he journeys on, till by and by the 
curling smoke behind him is the sure indication that 
danger is near. That curling smoke increases, until 
" a pale azure shadow " ascends towards heaven. The 
steed which carries him raises a cry of fear, and 
bounds along ; but the winds and flame are swifter 
than the fleetest animal. The fiery-tongued serpent 

328 TRUTH. 

leaps from its hiding-place, and throws into the air its 
gleaming light. The danger is now apprehended, but 
it is too late. The conflagration reaches and passes 
over the traveller, and both the horse and his rider 
fall dead upon the ground. Vice has a terrible power 
of propagation. The heart of a liar is a hotbed of 
evil, where the passions grow rife ; and if you throw 
into it a spark of temptation, it may burn into awful 
flame, and both body and soul may be ruined for ever. 
Cultivate, therefore, the love of truth. 

2. A word of exhortation. Do not begrudge any 
amount of labour in pursuit of the truth. By and by, 
you will be amply repaid. The Alpine traveller, after 
he has gazed upon the pleasant waters which pass 
through and fertilize the plain, resolves to trace those 
waters to their source. But it is vain to make such 
a resolve, unless he is prepared &o encounter fatigue 
and difficulty. He may be assured it will not be all 
smooth journeying. Many a scene of wild sublimity 
he will have to traverse. Precipices which at the 
first blush seem inaccessible will have to be climbed. 
Precipitous gorges lie in the way, and must be 
descended. Mountain upon mountain has to be 
overtopped. It may be, that many a roaring and 
dangerous cataract has to be passed. But if he is 
willing to brave the difficulty and face the toil, he 
will receive ample recompense in the loveliness and 
grandeur and magnificence, which beyond all previous 
conception, burst upon his view. The student of truth 
will obtain glorious sights, if he will only pursue the 
stream to its source ; and let him never forget that in 
Christ " are hid all the treasures of wisdom and know- 

TRUTH. 329 

ledge." There must be the personal acceptance of 
Gospel, saving truth, of the truth of Christ. 

3. A word of comfort. The Gospel is safe. It is 
true there are many obstacles. The human heart is 
against it. The selfishness and pride of our nature 
are against it. Gigantic systems of fraud and false- 
hood are against it. Hell is against it. But greater 
is He that is with us than he that is with them. 
They must strive, with the conviction that theirs is a 
failing cause. We push the conquests of truth, with 
the assurance that there is before us a universal 

" So let it be : in God's own might 
We gird us for the coming fight : 
And strong in Him whose cause is ours 
In conflict with unholy powers, 
We grasp the weapons He has given — 
The Light and Truth and Love of Heaven." 




OF all the Jewish festivals, none was more solemn 
than the Passover ; and of all the annual cele- 
brations of that feast, none was more impressive than 
the one connected with this text. It was the last 
which the world's Redeemer attended, and the one in 
which He took occasion to prepare His disciples for 
their coming trials and duties. He had passed through 
the scenes of His Ministry, and was now come to that 
hour appointed of the Father, when He must die for 
man. The disciples, whom He had loved with an 
intensity that cannot be put into language, and that 
failed not even in the last moments of His life, were 
about to receive the sublimest lesson of devotion from 
their loving Master. " Now before the feast of the 
Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come 
that he should depart out of this world unto the 
Father, having loved his own which were in the world, 
he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended" 
— or rather, the first part of the supper being ended, 
for it is afterwards intimated that the feast was not 
yet completed — " the devil having now put into the 
heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him ; 



Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things 
into his hands, and that he was come from God, and 
went to God " — that is, with the full consciousness of 
His dignity and glory — proceeded to an act of humilia- 
tion which ordinarily in an Eastern household fell to 
the lot of a slave. From so majestic an introduction, 
you would expect that the Evangelist was about to 
narrate some deed of matchless power. But mark the 
record : " He riseth from supper " — having probably 
finished the antepast, which is said always to have 
been taken before eating the paschal lamb — " and laid 
aside his garments " — surely that same seamless robe 
of which we read on an after and more melancholy 
occasion — " and took a towel, and girded himself " — 
according to the manner of a domestic servant. " After 
that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash 
the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel 
wherewith he was girded." While the guests were 
reclining at an Oriental table, their feet were washed 
without any change of posture. The slave " came and 
gently raised the foot, and inserted under it the basin 
of water. He then laved the foot, and rubbed it 
with his right hand, while he held it with his left, 
finally wiping it with the towel with which he was 

This ceremony was not really a part of the Passover 
service, for the hands only were then required to be 
washed, so that our Lord here gave a spontaneous and 
unparalleled proof of His humility and affection ; for 
rarely had it been heard of that the feet of a guest 
should be washed by his equal, never till now that it 
should be done by a superior. Several reasons are 


assigned why Jesus undertook this menial service. 
(1.) That He might testify the love He bore to His dis- 
ciples. (2.) That He might give an instance of His own 
voluntary humility and condescension. (3.) That He 
might signify to them what was meant by spiritual 
washing, as He did in a former discourse with Peter. 
(4.) That He might set them an example for the future. 
Whether He began with Peter, we do not know ; 
but this impulsive and wayward disciple, on the very 
approach of the Lord towards him, exhibited both the 
good and the bad qualities of his nature. Amazed at 
such a mark of condescension, and overpowered by the 
thought of his own unworfchiness, he seems almost to 
put forth his hand to hold back his Lord ; and exclaims, 
" Lord, dost thou wash my feet ? " who am so vastly 
Thine inferior, and so great a sinner. " Jesus answered 
and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now ; 
but thou shalt know hereafter." The action was sym- 
bolical, and the design was not at the moment appa- 
rent to the disciples ; but in due time it would be 
seen, and would then be gratefully appreciated. But 
Peter, still under a noble though mistaken impulse, 
" saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet — no, 
never ! " This was to some extent a generous and 
honourable utterance, though quite wrong, for he had 
just been told that there was a meaning in the act. 
But Jesus soon secured Peter's acquiescence, by the 
statement of the text, " If I wash thee not, thou hast 
no part with me." 

I. Expound the phraseology of the text. 
II. Unfold its principle. 


I. And here there are three subjects presented to 
the expositor : the Person, the Process, and the Alterna- 

1. The Person vjhom oar Lord addressed. 

(1.) His history. There is a thrilling interest in 
tracing out the topography and incidents of Bible 
scenery. The student of the past feels his soul stirred 
within him, as, in the languages of the olden times, he 
reads of historic places and the deeds of the mighty 
dead. The pass of Thessaly, and the three hundred 
brave Spartan warriors ; the plain of Marathon, and 
the courage of Miltiades ; the eloquence of Demos- 
thenes and Cicero ; and even the grand epics of our 
own Country's history, have an undying interest. But 
with a deeper and far holier feeling, does the Christian 
student think of the places and persons immediately 
associated with " the redemption of the world by our 
Lord Jesus Christ." The little Country of the Holy 
Land is the most classic ground on earth. 

In the Northern part of it is the province of Galilee, 
which is divided into two districts, the upper and the 
lower. The latter of these comprises a mountainous 
region, in the centre of which is a very deep hollow, 
or immense natural basin, of many miles in circum- 
ference, formed by the surrounding hills. The waters 
of this hollow, made up of contributions from many a 
mountain stream, are variously designated as the Sea 
of Galilee, the Lake of Gennesaret, and the Sea of 
Tiberias. It is a soft and beautiful expanse of water ; 
and right through the middle of it runs a portion of the 
Jordan, the smoothness of whose current the eye can 
distinctly follow. The surrounding scenery is bold 


and varied ; and the whole landscape is so calculated 
to produce impression on a thoughtful mind, that you 
are not surprised at the exaggerated utterance of the 
Talmud : " Seven seas have I created, saith God, and 
of them all have I chosen none but the Sea of 

The shores of the lake were studded with little 
towns and villages, and on the Western side lay Beth- 
saida, a fishing settlement, and the birthplace of Peter. 
His father's name was Jonas, and he was called Simon 
Bar-jona. In this comparatively wild but busy neigh- 
bourhood, he spent his childhood, sometimes hunting 
the game upon the hills, and sometimes plying his 
oar upon the lake. So that the locality of his birth 
and its associations, the free range of the mountains 
and their bracing air, the perils and adventures of the 
seas, all fostered the eager impetuosity and the daring 
for which he afterwards became notorious. As youth 
wore on, and he grew up into manhood, he was put to 
the trade of a fisherman, himself and his parents little 
thinking of what should happen in the after-time. 

His conversion and call to public life were on this 
wise. He had a thoughtful brother, Andrew, who 
afterwards was united with him in the Apostleship, 
but in earlier life was a disciple of John the 
Baptist. On one occasion, when the disciple and his 
teacher were conversing together, Jesus came in sight. 
John immediately broke off the conversation, and 
pointing to the Saviour, said, " Behold the Lamb of 
God !" Andrew and a friend who was with him, on 
hearing this announcement, followed Jesus, who 
graciously received them, and, after speaking to 


them words of wisdom, invited them to a further 
conference at His own home. Andrew, however, was 
so impressed with the character of Christ, that even 
before he would accompany Him for the night, he 
hastened in search of his brother, so that he too might 
make this acquaintance, and share in his own joy — 
an example of fraternal solicitude which should not 
be lost upon us. He came to his brother full of 
excitement, and said, " We have found the Messias !" 
which is, being interpreted, the Christ. The two 
together hastened after the Lord towards Capernaum, 
a small town adjacent to Bethsaida, where the 
Saviour abode : and when Simon was introduced, 
Jesus said unto him, " Thou art Simon, the son of 
Jona : thou shalt be called Cephas/' which is, by in- 
terpretation, a stone ; and from henceforth his name 
is Peter. 

They remained for one day with the great Master ; 
and it was the day on which the marriage of Cana 
was celebrated, so that they witnessed the first of a 
train of glorious miracles. The next day they 
returned to their homes and worldly duties, both of 
them affectionate disciples of Christ. For about 
fcwelve months, Peter followed his trade, and diligently 
provided for his household ; for he was a married man. 
But one morning, after a dreary and profitless night 
on the waters, the two brothers, who had given up 
the toil as fruitless, made for the shore, and began 
to wash their nets. Jesus drew near; a crowd soon 
gathered ; and He, seeing the empty boats, entered 
into the one which belonged to Peter, and requested 
him to move a little from the land. When He had 


given instruction to the multitudes before Him, He 
turned to the disciple, and commanded him to launch 
out, and let down the net. After a moment's hesita- 
tion, for the memory of the night's experience lingered 
with Peter, this was done ; a great draught of fishes 
was taken ; and Peter fell down at Jesus' feet, saying, 
" Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord." 
" And when they had brought their ships to land, 
they forsook all, and followed Him." 

This was Peter's entrance upon a course of action 
which exhibited one of the most extraordinary cha- 
racters the world ever knew. 

(2.) His character. There was in him a wondrous 
combination of good and bad ; though, on the whole, 
the good happily predominates. You see a large 
amount of the bright and sunny : but here and there 
a considerable spot presents itself; and in one 
instance the spot darkens into a foul blot. The 
denial of his Lord may never be forgotten ; though, 
with the fact before us that that sin was so graciously 
forgiven, and even followed by the Saviour's loving 
confidence, we may check the hasty indignation which 
is apt to rise. But while we lament the many weak- 
nesses which marked his character, we gaze with 
gladness on so much that is noble and affecting. 

Earnest zeal stands out most prominently. His 
ardent temperament prompted him to constant action. 
An indolent man, if not scathed by Peter's indignant 
eloquence, would have been shamed out of his idleness 
by Peter's unceasing activity. He was one of those 
characters most distasteful to a company of quiet, ease- 
loving, immobile, plethoric people. He was always 


on the move. If others would not fall into his plans, 
they must fall out of his way. There was no peace, 
either in the home or in the Church, if their members 
were not about their business. He made no truce 
with the sluggard, and gave no quarter to laziness. 
You would suppose, as you looked at him, that he 
was trying to solve the problem of perpetual motion ; 
and, though some persons might construe his activity 
into fidgetiness, he was one of those bustling, energetic 
people that the world always requires. 

But his courage, was as remarkable as his zeaL 
Show him the path of duty, and he was ready for 
daring. To whisper into his ear that there was 
danger, or that a lion was in the way, would probably 
quicken his already nimble step to approach and 
encounter it. Fear was a quality little developed in 
his course, always excepting one sad instance. 

His affection was equal both to his zeal and his 
courage. He loved his Master, and he loved his 

Peter's character, however, had a shady side. There 
was a large amount of the real golden ore ; but it was 
not unalloyed. As you looked upon the piece of coin, 
you were quite sure that it had come from the mint, 
that it bore the right effigy and superscription, and 
that it would pass current ; but as you rang it down 
upon the counter, the sound told you in a moment 
that a Haw was in it Peter was too impulsive: 
there was in him a tendency to be meddlesome : his 
judgment was not equal to his zeal : and "his lips " 
were not in the habit of " keeping knowledge." Quick- 
thoughted and quick-footed, his tongue outran all. 



Tossed during a stormy night on the Sea of Galilee, 
the disciples, about the fourth watch, beheld the 
Saviour coming. Peter, full of love and daring, was 
anxious to go and meet Him. His impulsiveness 
threw him into the water ; and, having miscalculated 
his faith, or perhaps having never calculated it at all, he 
began to sink. The loving Master, however, held him 
up, and with a gentle chiding, said, " thou of little 
faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" On the holy- 
mountain, Peter had a glorious view of the trans- 
figuration of Christ. It was one of the happiest 
moments of his life. Thrilled to his soul's centre 
with the joyous scene, he eried, " Master, it is good 
for us to be here." It was a beautiful utterance ; and 
if he had stopped there, there would have been no 
drawback. But he said too much. His feeling 
carried him beyond his judgment, and he preferred a 
request which was in fact both wrong and ridiculous. 
" Let us make three tabernacles ; one for thee, and 
one for Moses, and one for Elias." And this he said, 
the Evangelist tells us, "not knowing what he said." 
Peter felt the honour of accompanying Jesus into 
the garden of Gethsemane. A real affection for the 
Sufferer had possession of his heart. And yet, in 
the very height of the agony, he gave way to nature, 
and fell asleep. He was one of the first to declare 
undying constancy to Christ, and even volunteered 
the statement, " Though all should deny thee, yet will 
not I," and he was sincere when he said it. But 
he was over-confident ; and had to weep bitterly for 
his fall. So with regard to the facts of this chapter. 
It was a grand gush of love that led him to cry, "Thou 


shalt never wash my feet:" but it was very thought- 
less and ill-timed, after the Saviour's words, "What 
I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know 

While, however, there is in the character of this 
Apostle that which mars the perfect portraiture, there 
is much more to admire and approve. When you 
think of the nobleness of his nature, the earnestness 
of his life, and see that life crowned by a glorious 
martyr-death, you may well desire that the failings 
should be forgotten, and the good be cherished. And 
while, in the light of these failings, we read Eome's 
folly, which gives such a pre-eminence to Peter, let 
us cultivate those virtues which shone in him, and 
glorify that Saviour who was the object of his in- 
tensest affection ; that we may be able to say, as he 
said in one of his last interviews with Jesus, " Lord, 
thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love 

2. The Process. " If I wash thee not" said Jesus 
to Peter, " thou hast no part with me." There can be 
no doubt as to the symbolical import of this action. 
The Saviour designed, by this physical process, to tell 
of man's defilement and the gospel cleansing. 

(1.) There is impurity implied. The nature which 
was created holy has undergone a fearful change, and 
through transgression has " altogether become filthy." 
Sin is polluting; and the contagious defilement has 
become universal There is no man of the race, there 
is no part of the man which can boast exception. 
Whatever be his outward circumstances — whether in 
courtly glare and royal pomp he wields the sceptre 


over empires ; or, deep down in squalid poverty, he 
drags out a miserable existence in the cellar or the 
hovel : whether among the tomes of learning and in 
the halls of science, he ranks with the literati of the 
a^e ; or is numbered with the crowds who know nothing 
beyond the commonest routine of daily life : whether 
upon the distant battlefield he is seeking laurels to 
immortalize his name and adorn his Country; or in 
that far distant and unremembered hamlet, where the 
apparatus of modern science has not yet found its 
way, and civilisation has hardly reached its dawning 
time, the unambitious peasant tramps his weary day- 
path, — there is the same condition. "Death," the 
death of depravity, has " passed upon all men, for that 
all have sinned." 

There is universal defilement in the man as well as 
in the race. The mind cannot claim superiority over 
the body in this respect, nor the heart over either. 
The whole man, " from the sole of the foot even unto 
the head," is a mass of "wounds and bruises and 
putrefying sores." The Bible speaks of the " filthiness 
of the flesh." There is not only the impurity which 
clings to the body, but the impure purposes to which 
the body is devoted. The mind is debauched. Its 
powers and faculties, once so pure and elevated, are 
draggled through the slough of transgression and 
alienation. The thoughts, once under the highest 
restraints of Heaven, now run riot in unholy scenes 
and places. The whole mental house has become a 
" cage of unclean birds." 

" The heart is deceitful above all things, and desper- 
ately wicked." There is no pitch of vice to which the 


affections will not lead their victim ; there is no dis- 
honour to God which they will not sanction; and 
there is no act of debasement and filthiness which 
they will not prompt him to commit. Oh ! it is not 
needful to make a pilgrimage to heathen shrines, and 
see the depths of depravity into which the devotees of 
superstition are plunged. It is not needful to wander 
in the darkness of night through the lowest streets of 
a crowded City, and visit the haunts of drunkenness, 
the dens of infamy, or the gambling hells. You will 
find defilement much nearer home. Take your own 
heart, and with firm hand make the operation. Probe 
the wound to the bottom ; and as you reach the disease 
and dislodge the feculence, you may tremble before 
God, and say : " Behold, I am vile :" " wherefore I 
abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." 

(2.) But while man is defiled, there is for him the 
cleansing. He may be washed. There is a significance 
in this word which we are apt to overlook. In the 
time of our Lord, special regard was given to the ablu- 
tions of the body, which were regarded as religious 
rites. Many of these were without divine authority ; 
but others were in the ritual, and were solemnly 
enjoined as necessary to purification. Water, there- 
fore, is a frequent emblem of the agency by which 
we are made holy. " Then will I sprinkle clean water 
upon you, and ye shall be clean : from all your filthi- 
ness, and from all idols, will I cleanse you. A new 
heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put 
within you ; and I will take away the stony heart out 
of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh " 
(Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26). 



Every part of the Gospel salvation is surely included 
here. The 'pardon of sin, and the justification of the 
person before God : " And such were some of you ; but 
ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justifled 
in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of 
our God" (1 Cor. vi. 11). 

The regeneration of our nature : " Not by works of 
righteousness which we have done, but according to 
his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, 
and renewing of the Holy Ghost " (Tit. iii. 5). 

The sanctifimtion of our heart and life : " Christ 
also loved the Church, and gave himself for it ; that 
he might sanctify and cleanse it with the vjashing of 
water by the word, that he might present it to himself 
a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any 
such thing" (Eph. v. 25-27). 

There is no impurity, therefore, from which you may 
not be cleansed. There is no sin which may not be 
forgiven. There is no heart too defiled for the Gospel 
process. The man whose whole soul is saturated, 
drenched in blackest moral filth ; who has permitted 
himself to be dragged through pools of corruption, and 
lies, in fact, the embodiment of loathsomeness and 
putrefaction ; may be raised up, and plunged into the 
Gospel fountain, and undergo the cleansing, and leave 
all the defilement behind, and stand up in the light of 
the sun as pure as an angel, be clothed in the robes 
of sanctity, and be made meet for heaven. 

" Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into 
the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living 
way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the 
veil, that is to say, his flesh ; and having an high 


priest over the house of God ; let us draw near with 
a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our 
hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies 
washed with pure water" (Heb. x. 19-22). 

(3.) The means and the agency by which this washing 
is effected. Jesus is the great Purifier. " If / wash 
thee not." He " is made unto us wisdom, and righteous- 
ness, and sanctification, and redemption." His blood 
" cleanseth us from all sin." But He employs means 
and agencies to accomplish the work. Here is the 
impurity to be cleansed; here is the water for the 
washing ; and now comes the actual operation. The 
sinner is thrown into " the laver of regeneration." He 
passes through the Gospel process. The Holy Ghost 
applies the truth, and he becomes " a new creature in 
Christ." The means are the Gospel, and the agency is 
the Spirit. The Gospel tells him of his need and danger. 
He is not left to any human reasoning, to spell out the 
grounds of his unholiness, or to argue the probabilities 
of the future. He is told emphatically: "By one 
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin " 
(Rom. v. 1 2) ; " The wicked shall be turned into hell, 
and all the nations that forget God" (Ps. ix. 17). 
The Gospel gives to him the promise of deliverance. 
It sets forth " Christ evidently crucified before his 
eyes." And then the Holy Spirit brings this Gospel 
home, and introduces him to " newness of life." We 
are " sanctified through the truth ; " His " word is 

3. The Alternative. "If I wash thee not, thou 
hast no part with me," nothing in common with Me, 
no real interest in Me, and nothing to expect from Me. 


m — — 

" Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he 
cannot enter into the kingdom of God." 

(1.) To have part with Christ implies oneness; to 
have no part with Christ implies separation. The life 
of the soul is in this union. In Paradise man lived, 
because God and man lived together. In Paradise 
man died, because God and man were separated by the 
gulf which sin had formed. Christ by His mediation 
brings God and man together again ; and just as the 
soul is attracted to God, so that union between the 
two is effected, it begins to live. " I am crucified with 
Christ : nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ 
liveth in me : and the life which I now live in the 
flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved 
me, and gave himself for me " (Gal. ii. 20). 

(2.) To have part with Christ implies fellowship ; to 
Jiave no part with Christ implies distance — not only 
separation, by which the bond is broken, but a rapid 
and dangerous departure, by which the distance 
between the two is ever increasing. Only snap the 
link which unites that train on the incline to the 
motive power; and then, instead of the upward and 
forward action as before, there is the reverse movement : 
and now the motion downward is hastened by every 
rotation, and the velocity becomes greater every moment; 
until, without the interposition of some miracle of 
mercy, the horrible catastrophe ensues, and the separa- 
tion ends in death and ruin. But the soul can be 
rescued, even in the height of its danger, and brought 
back from its distance and peril, and be reunited to 
Christ, and enjoy a fellowship with Him which shall 
never die. " Wherefore remember that at that 


time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the 
commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the cove- 
nants of promise, having no hope, and without God in 
the world : But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometime 
were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 
For he is our peace who hath made both one, and 
hath broken down the middle wall of partition between 
us" (Eph. ii 11-14). 

(3.) Furthermore, to have part with Christ implies 
benediction; to have no part with Christ implies 
alienation. You not only lose the smile, but you 
secure the frown. It is not only the absence of those 
riches which are beyond all price, but the presence of 
poverty, and want, and hunger, the misery of which 
defies all description. 

How sad and awful is the thought that, as a sinner, 
you have no part with Christ. He offers Himself to 
you ; and in that offer there is everything you need. 
The spirit of penitency and earnest desire for salvation ; 
the peace of forgiving mercy ; the knowledge of pardon 
and His loving smile ; the expulsion of evil principles, 
and the gift of a new nature ; tranquillity of spirit amid 
all the upheavings and tossings of the stormy state ; 
consolation in the heaviest trial, and victory over Satan 
in moments of temptation ; strength for the discharge of 
duty, both in the Church and in the world ; a calm 
and confident looking on to death, and a joy, it may be, 
waxing into rapture as life is ending; an opening 
through that dark cloud which hides the future from 
us, a few rays at least of glory streaming through the 
chink, to point and lead us to the better land ; a seat 
with Him upon the throne, on the other side of death ; 



a share of His own bliss ; and the crowning benediction 
that this heaven, once gained, is heaven for ever — all 
this He offers. But if you have no part with Him, you 
have no claim to it. You have no comfort, no joy in 
your heart ; no right to expect sunshine in your house- 
hold, or blessing on your business. There is a worm 
always at the gourd of your worldly pleasures. There 
is a deadly serpent on your track wherever you go — 
in the social circle, on the exchange, in your haunts of 
sin. You cannot rid yourselves of its presence, though 
sometimes you may hide its sting from your eye. 
And then, while this world, which might have been 
a paradise of blessing, is to you a dreary, if not a 
miserable existence, you have no hope beyond. The 
future is all dark to you ; a " fearful looking for of 
judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the 
adversaries." No star will ever break through that 
gloom, to convey one ray of light or one message of 
mercy. Separated from all that is good, and consigned 
to fellowship with every foul and loathsome fiend that 
finds a home in hell, the unutterable anguish of your 
spirit can know no end. 

Oh ! come to Christ. He waits to wash you. He 
offers pardon now. You need not linger. If your 
hearts are broken, you may come, and He will bind 
them up. If your hearts are hard, He will break the 
rock. Just now, and just as you are, penitent sinner, 
come to Jesus. He waits to save you now. Come, and 
say — 

" Just as I am, without one plea, 
But that Thy blood was shed for me, 
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee, 
Lamb of God, I come ! 


" Just as I am, and waiting not 
To rid my soul of one dark blot, 
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, 
Lamb of God, I come ! " 

II. We take this text to mean that there is no 
salvation out of, or apart from, Christ. Surely no 
proposition was ever simpler or more certain ; and yet 
no proposition ever needed to be more constantly stated 
and enforced. There are but few in Christian congre- 
gations who would openly deny it ; their name is legion 
who deny it practically. Mark the difficulty which 
even a penitent sinner realizes, in exercising a simple 
trust in Jesus; how his whole nature recoils at the 
doctrine of so great a blessing hanging on such a con- 
dition. See the obstacles which human reason often 
interposes to Heaven's plan of mercy, because that 
reason assumes to be the judge of revelation. Observe 
the lofty bearing, and almost contemptuous sneer, 
with which the Pharisees of our day regard their 
humbler brethren ; some of them glorying in their birth 
and pious parentage ; others in their education ; and 
others still in their proprieties of external conduct ; 
while none of them are sufficiently contrite to confess 
their sin : and you will justify the enforcement of this 
principle — no salvation apart from Christ. " If I wash 
thee not, thou hast no part with me." 

1. The object to be attained — Salvation. Christ offers 
Himself as your Saviour. " Thou shalt call his name 
Jesus ; for he shall save his people from their sins." 
There is no word of larger import in the Bible. Sin 
has a wide meaning and application ; but salvation 
covers it, and extends beyond. It embraces everything 


which a sinner wants in this world, and everything 
which a saint can desire in the world to come. It 
includes pardon, and renewal, and purity. It restores 
the divine image which sin had blotted out. It makes 
man happy and useful here, and secures to him here- 
after an immoveable kingdom and an unfading crown. 
He is " the author of eternal salvation unto all them 
that obey him " (Heb. v. 9). 

2. But observe, such an object can only be attained 
in Christ. All other means are inadequate to reach it. 

It cannot be denied, however, that other means are 
employed — that tens of thousands at this moment are 
seeking for the right thing in the wrong way ; and until 
their refuges of lies are removed, they will not come to 
Christ. Human philosophy appeals to the reason ; the 
oracles of morality to the external conduct; and the 
abettors of formalism to ritual observance. 

(1.) There is a pseudo-philosophy which offers to save. 
To deify reason at the expense of revelation is no new 
thing ; it is nearly as old as sin. It is not, however, 
the business of a Christian to decry reason. This is a 
noble faculty, and has a large work to do for good. 
But the sin is, that men put reason on an elevation she 
was never designed to occupy. She is the handmaiden 
of religion and revelation, but not their judge. And 
when she is thrust into the position she unwillingly 
holds, she is made to utter judgments which are not 
her own. It is like violently placing a royal diadem 
on the head, when the wearer feels that he has no claim 
to it. It is as when John the Baptist was proclaimed 
the Messiah ; and he, knowing his inferiority, was com- 
pelled to cry out, " I am not the Christ . I am the 


voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the 
way of the Lord" (John i. 20-23). Eevelation says 
that there is a Trinity of Persons in the united God- 
head, and requires the belief of this as the basis of 
religious truth ; reason is made to say that it is a self- 
contradictory proposition, and must not be believed. 
Eevelation says that the Son of God, to become a 
perfect Saviour, united in His own Person the divine 
and human natures ; reason is made to say that such a 
union is an impossibility, and therefore never could be. 
Eevelation says the sinner must abandon every atom 
of self-righteousness, and accept forgiveness as an act of 
grace alone ; reason is made to say that such a condition 
is an undeserved scandal upon human nature, and must 
be indignantly rejected. Eevelation says that by and 
by a general resurrection will take place, and every 
body of the silent dead shall rise and become re-united 
with its own spirit ; reason is made to say that such 
a doctrine is absurdity run mad, and to give to the 
inspired volume the lie direct. 

But while this human reasoning contradicts the 
Bible, it thrusts itself into the place of revelation. It 
tells the man to exercise his faculties, and train his 
mind, and control his passions, and make the best of 
his circumstances, and fulfil his destiny : and then, if 
there be no hereafter, it will be all right ; and if there 
be, it will not harm him. Now, what is all this but 
the blackest infidelity ? Most wisely does the Bible 
pronounce the atheist a fool. When you think of the 
infinite worth and duration of the soul, you will not 
trust to a foundation like this. 

(2.) Morality appeals to external conduct. We employ 


this word in deference to the usages of society, though, 
strictly speaking, the only morality worth preaching is 
that which springs from love to Christ : — 

" Talk they of morals ? Thou bleeding Love, 
Thou Maker of new morals to mankind, 
The grand morality is love of Thee." 

There is, however, a class of persons, who constantly 
commend morality, as it is opposed to experimental 
religion, and who do not hesitate to say that the require- 
ments of the Gospel are hard and tyrannical ; that it 
is enough if a man fulfil his duties and transact his 
business honourably, and discharge his obligations to 
those around him, and lead a virtuous life. In their 
self -righteousness, they spurn the doctrine of atonement, 
and even intimate that justice will have abandoned 
her throne, if they be punished for their sin. Now, is 
this foundation any safer than the other ? While 
the atheist is guilty of folly, the mere moralist is 
guilty of falsehood. " There is none righteous ; no, not 

(3.) But the third class is the largest, and perhaps in 
the greatest danger : the disciples of formalism appeal 
to ritual observance. With large multitudes, religion is 
nothing beyond the form — there is no power. To 
look upon a company of formalists is like gazing upon 
a gallery of pictures, or the products of the sculptor's 
chisel. There are the outlines of the human face, and 
there may be symmetry of form and beauty of expres- 
sion. But take hold of that hand of marble, and 
whisper into that ear on the canvas. The one is cold 
as death, and the other heedless as the grave. 

There is the formalism of creed. Many have 


embraced a particular set of doctrines, perhaps from 
education ; and if any of these are impugned, they 
will loudly cry against heterodoxy: but the embodi- 
ment of these doctrines in practical daily life does not 
trouble them. To have what are assumed to be wrong 
views is, with some persons, a greater crime than 
godlessness ; and love to God and man is nothing, if 
the lips do not utter the shibboleth of the sect. If 
the figments of Sacramental efficacy and Apostolical 
succession, in all their breadth, and with all their 
legitimate consequences, were to be accepted by the 
Churches, the foulest immoralities that an impure 
priesthood ever committed might be justified, and the 
last vestige of a spiritual religion would soon be 
trampled out of the world. 

There is the formalism of service. It requires the 
exact and constant performance of prescribed duty. 
It makes religion to consist in attendance upon the 
sanctuary, and the decorous fulfilment of sanctuary 
service; in bending the knee at the right moment, 
and bowing the head when the ritual requires ; in 
visiting the sick, and feeding the hungry, and accom- 
plishing the whole round of ceremonial observances. 
It would shudder at any word against prescription ; 
and, while it would allow the preacher to utter truth 
or error as he may think fit, it would regard any 
innovation upon forms and formularies as sufficient to 
exclude him from the kingdom of heaven. 

Oh ! let me warn you against this snare of the 
devil. Do not hastily condemn what we are about to 
say ; but try it by the divine and authoritative word. 
It may sound harshly upon the ear of the merely pro- 


fessing Christian, but we believe it to be as true as the 
throne of God. You may have had a religious ancestry, 
and be able to claim relationship with many of the 
honoured dead. From earliest childhood, seeds of 
truth may have been deposited in your mind, and 
religious culture may have been bestowed. You may 
have been led by the hand of affection to the house of 
God, and taught to reverently lisp the ever precious 
Name. You may have felt a constantly deepening 
interest in the sanctuary services, and realized, under 
the Ministry of the Word, your condition as a sinner, 
and your exposure to the pit. You may have been 
charitable in your benefactions to the poor, and patterns 
of patience and punctuality at the Sabbath School. 
You may have been amiable in your disposition, and 
courteous in all your demeanour. You may have con- 
ducted your business, so that even the lynx eye of a 
competitor or a rival could detect no stain. You may 
have had a sincere regard for the Ministers of religion, 
and an earnest pleasure in the society of saints. You 
may have had your name on the Church's register, 
and been ready to do battle against the opponents of 
religion. You may have bent your knee at the sacra- 
mental table, and taken into your trembling hands the 
memorials of your dying Saviour. You may have 
desired salvation, and prayed for salvation, and wept 
for salvation — and yet, after all, you may have come 
short of the act of faith in, and consecration to, Christ ; 
you may have no part with Him now ; and unless you 
go the one step farther, and become one with Him, 
you will have no part hereafter. 

Oh ! be exhorted to give up all confidence in your- 


selves, in your creeds, in your ritual observances ; and 
realize that 

" Faith which sweetly works by love, 
And purifies the heart." 

3. While all these earthly props will fail you, you 
will find a sufficiency in Christ. 

" A Way He is to lost ones that have strayed ; 

A Robe He is to such as naked be. 
Is any hungry ? To all such He's Bread : 

Is any weak ? In Him, how strong is he ! 
To him that's dead He's Life, to sick men Health, 
Eyes to the blind, and to the poor man Wealth." 

There is no man on earth He is unable to save. He 
meets the case of all persons, conditions, and circum- 
stances. Persons of all ages, and in every clime ; men 
of all colours and grades of intellect ; every class in 
society, from the highest to the lowest, may come. 
Every texture of mind and habitude of thought ; every 
state of the heart, and every feature of experience, will 
find its counterpart in the Gospel, and its appropriate 
truth. You need not hesitate to come yourselves, nor 
to bring others. You cannot induce the wrong ones to 
draw nigh. Throw forth the invitations without fear. 
Bring the vilest, and the oldest, and the most sinful, 
and the most miserable. "This man receiveth sinners." 
" Wherefore, he is able also to save them to the uttermost 
that come unto God by him." Poor wanderer, come ! 
If you are saved at all, it must be by Jesus. "Neither 
is there salvation in any other : for there is none other 
name under heaven given among men, whereby we 
must be saved" (Acts iv. 12). Take hold of His 
mercy, and keep hold till death. 



" Cling to the Mighty One ; cling in thy grief : 
Cling to the Holy One ; He gives relief : 
Cling to the Gracious One ; cling in thy pain : 
Cling to the Faithful One ; He will sustain : 
Cling to the Living One ; cling in thy woe : 
Cling to the Loving One, through all below : 
Cling to the Pardoning One ; He speaketh peace : 
Cling to the Healing One ; anguish shall cease : 
Cling to the Bleeding One ; cling to His side : 
Cling to the Risen One ; in Him abide : 
Cling to the Coming One ; hope shall arise : 
Cling to the Reigning One ; He never dies." 

Conclusion. — Let us obtain higher and clearer views 
of that Religion, of which Christ is the Author, and the 
absolute necessity of which this subject fully teaches 
us. Every other system lacks adaptation and power 
Well is this Christianity said to be " characterised bj 
perfect harmony in all its parts and all its bearings : 
and in its results it secures all the great ends proposed 
by the sublimest economy which infinite Wisdom has 
devised. See what practical Christianity has already 
done for the world, and say whether she is not to be 
greeted as a good angel from the world above. Behold 
how many fountains of sorrow she has dried up, and 
how many fountains of joy she has unsealed. Behold 
her appropriating the world as her field, and going 
forth with a heart that beats to every form of human 
woe, and a hand open to dispense blessings of every 
description. And though the work she has set her- 
self to accomplish is only begun, she has done enough 
to constitute a pledge that she will do the whole ; that 
she will never rest from her labours, till the world has 
been reclaimed from the dominion of the curse, and the 
last gem has been set in the Mediator's crown. 


" Let Antinoniianisni go to sleep, and dream that 
there is nothing for her to do, inasmuch as God is 
pledged to do it all; but let her know, that ere long 
she will awake from her slumbers to a sense of 
ignominy and wailing. Meanwhile, let practical 
Christianity wax bolder and stronger in her efforts to 
renovate the world and glorify God ; and, as God's 
Word is true, to her will belong the honour of having 
carried the news of salvation and raised the Redeemer's 
standard among all nations." 



"For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, priest of the most 
high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter 
of the kings, and blessed him ; to whom also abraham 
gave a tenth part of all ; first being by interpretation 
King of righteousness, and after that also King of 
Salem, which is King of peace ; without father, without 
mother, without descent, having neither beginning of 
days, nor end of life ; but made like unto the son of god ; 
abideth a priest continually." — heb. vii. 1-3. 

THIS passage is connected with the 10th verse of 
the 5th chapter, where the Apostle mentions the 
name of Melchisedec as typical of the Messiah. In 
the unfolding of his general argument as to the supe- 
riority of the Christian economy, and therefore as to 
the supremacy of Christ its Author, he had already 
disposed of that part of it which referred to the angels 
and the prophet Moses, and was now entering upon 
the comparison between Christ and Aaron concerning 
the priesthood. And, indicating the inferiority of the 
Aaronic order, he quotes a passage from the 110th 
Psalm : " The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent ; 
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Mel- 
chisedec." He then leaves the subject, with the sig- 
nificant intimation that they were not yet sufficiently 



matured in Christian knowledge to receive it. " Of 
whom we have many things to say, and hard to be 
uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing " (chap. v. 11). 
He therefore makes it his business to prepare them 
for it, — First, by rebuking them for their small attain- 
ments : " For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, 
ye have need that one teach you again which be the 
first principles of the oracles of God ; and are become 
such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat " 
(ver. 12). Secondly, by exhorting them to vigorous 
advances: "Therefore leaving the principles of the 
doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection ; not 
laying again the foundation of repentance from dead 
works, and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of 
baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrec- 
tion of the dead, and of eternal judgment" (chap. vi. 1, 2). 
These are merely the rudiments of Christianity, — the 
doctrines " pertaining to the beginning of a Christian 
life." If we are no further than these mere elements 
of New Testament truth, we are not prepared for the 
sublime doctrine now before us. Thirdly, by a solemn 
warning against apostasy : " For it is impossible for 
those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of 
the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the 
Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, 
and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall 
away, to renew them again unto repentance ; seeing 
they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and 
put him to an open shame" (vers. 4-6). Fourthly, by 
encouraging them to trust in God, because of His cove- 
nant faithfulness : " And we desire that every one of 
you do show the same diligence to the full assurance 


of hope unto the end : that ye be not slothful, but fol- 
lowers of them who through faith and patience inherit 
the promises. For when God made promise to Abra- 
ham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware 
by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, 
and multiplying I will multiply thee." 

Having thus prepared the way, he returns to the 
subject, and expatiates upon Melchisedec as a type of 

" For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, priest of the 
most high God, who met Abraham returning from the 
slaughter of the kings, and Messed him ; to whom also 
Abraham gave a tenth part of all ; first being by inter- 
pretation King of righteousness, and after that also 
King of Salem, which is, King of peace ; without father, 
without mother, without descent, having neither beginning 
% of days, nor end of life ; but made like unto the Son of 
God ; abideth a priest continually." 

Melchisedec, a type of Christ. 

I. As to his Kingship. 
II. As to his Priesthood. 

I. As A King. It may seem strange that of a 
person so illustrious in birth and character, and so 
important in his connection with the world's Redeemer, 
the historic record is so scanty. "We take it, however, 
as it is written in Genesis. " And Melchisedec, King 
of Salem, brought forth bread and wine : and he was 
the priest of the most high God. And he blessed 
him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, 
possessor of heaven and earth : and blessed be the 
most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies 


intp thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all " 
(chap. xiv. 18-20). We lay aside at once all the 
fanciful interpretations which have been given to this 
passage ; such, for instance, as that the bread and wine 
were typical of the "Lord's Supper, and that this man 
was Shem, the son of Noah, or even the Son of God 
Himself, as has sometimes been asserted. The 
account is doubtless as much a history of fact as any 
other which the Old Testament supplies. We are 
simply told that as Abraham was returning from a 
successful military expedition against four confederate 
kings, and was passing through the territories of this 
King of Salem, he was met. by the monarch himself, 
who expressed his gratitude to the patriarch for what he 
had done, bestowed his priestly benediction, and offered 
to him and his warriors the rites of hospitality ; to 
whom, in return, Abraham gave tithes of all the battle 
spoil, both as a mark of gratitude to the King, and as 
an offering to God. 

One feature of the character of Melchisedec may 
now be named. He was both king and priest, and in 
this respect was a perfect type of the Messiah. The 
ritual of Moses forbade the union of these two offices. 
One of the kings of Judah, notwithstanding some good 
traits in his government, was smitten with leprosy be- 
cause he attempted it ; for when Uzziah went into the 
temple of the Lord to burn incense, Azariah the priest 
went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of 
the Lord, that were valiant men : and they withstood 
Uzziah the king, and said unto him, " It appertaineth 
not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, 
but to the priests, the sons of Aaron, that are conse- 



crated to burn incense ; go out of the sanctuary, for 
thou hast trespassed ; neither shall it be for thine 
honour from the Lord God" (2 Chron. xxvi. 16-18). 
The wrath of Heaven fell upon him, and he was a leper 
to the day of his death. But this union, which was 
represented by Melchisedec, is seen in Christ. Zecha- 
riah says, " He shall sit and rule upon his throne, and 
he shall be a priest upon his throne " (vi. 1 3). And 
St. Peter declares that " him hath God exalted with 
his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give 
repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins " (Acts 
v. 31). 

See him first as a King. 

Melchisedec was King of Salem. There can be but 
little question that this place is Jerusalem itself. 
Salem was the original name of that city ; and even 
•.for many ages after the term Jebus was prefixed, 
was it thus designated. " In Judah is God known : 
his name is great in Israel. In Salem also is his taber- 
nacle, and his dwelling-place in Zion " (Ps. lxxvi. 1, 2). 
The ruler of Salem was the representative of Messiah's 

1. There is a twofold view to be taken of Christ's 
kingship. One of these refers to His divine character, 
and to that eternal dignity which belongs to Him 
as a divine Person. The triune Godhead, in which 
He is the second Person, is King for ever. The wide 
world of creation is the territory over which He sways 
His sceptre ; and worlds on worlds extending far 
beyond this earth are under His dominion. 

The vast extent of matter which makes up the uni- 
verse, in all its ponderousness, and variety, and beauty 


— the change of seasons, ever true and ever welcome — 
all obey the laws which as universal Sovereign He 
has laid down. The planetary system is a part of His 
domain. The sun keeps his course, the moon her 
orbit, and the stars their spheres, at His command. 
Angels in heaven, men upon earth, devils in hell, are 
the subjects of His everlasting kingdom. 

2. But we now refer to His rule as the Messiah. 
One of the leading features of His Mediatorship is His 
Kingship. The prophecies of the Old Testament, and 
the histories of the Xew, put this before us with the 
utmost prominence. His own character is embodied 
in His Kingdom. It is here reflected with precision 
and sublimity. His government shows what He is as 

"When Daniel was required to interpret the dream 
of Nebuchadnezzar, he made special reference to 
Messiah's kingdom. The head of the image, which 
was of gold, was the Babylonian empire ; the breast 
and arms of silver was the Medo-Persian ; the body 
and thighs of brass was the Macedonian ; the legs of 
iron was the Roman ; and during the existence of this 
fourth power, another Kingdom was to be set up by 
thi' Ood of heaven, which should never be destroyed. 
And then was the prophet caught up by the Spirit, 
and saw both the King and His Kingdom in all their 
-lory. " I saw in the night visions, and behold, one 
like the Sun of man came with the clouds of heaven, 
and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought 
him near before him. And there was given him 
dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, 
nations, and languages should serve him. His 


dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not 
pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be 
destroyed" (Dan. vii. 13, etc.). 

His solemn inauguration to this office took place 
at His resurrection and ascension. " All power is 
given unto me in heaven, and in earth." It has 
been well termed the "coronation day of the King 
of kings." It took place amid all the glories of 
the Ascension-mount. Having; overcome His enemies 
and redeemed the world, that Saviour who, in 
derision, was advertised upon the Cross as "Jesus of 
Nazareth, the King of the Jews," was welcomed into 
heaven with regal pomp and dignity. " Lift up your 
heads, ye gates ; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting 
doors ; and the King of glory shall come in. Who 
is this King of glory ? The Lord strong and mighty, 
*the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, ye 
gates ; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors ; and 
the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King 
of glory ? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of 
glory" (Ps. xxiv. 7-10). 

Now, bear in mind that this Kingdom has been 
established for the benefit of man. It is not to be 
considered merely as a theatre, upon which its Monarch 
might promulgate His laws, and display His attributes, 
and levy His forces, and gain His victories, and reward 
His followers, and punish His enemies ; but the grand 
design of its existence is to save man. 

It is a Spiritual Kingdom. When you read the 
records of earthly dynasties, your attention is directed 
to that which is outward. Historians have written 
their Constitutions ; poets have sung their battles and 


their conquests ; artists have painted their warriors and 
their monarchs ; but in the Kingdom of Christ you see 
none of these. Here is a hidden power, an unobserved 
government, a spiritual conflict, and an eternal reward. 

This Kingdom is universal and enduring. Men may 
oppose, but they must submit. " The kings of the 
earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel 
together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, 
saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast 
away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the 
heavens shall laugh : the Lord shall have them in 
derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, 
and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I 
set my king upon my holy hill of Zion " (Ps. ii. 2—6). 
" He must reign till he hath put all his enemies under 
his feet." This thought may be implied in the fact 
that Melchisedec was a type of Christ ; but there are 
two of its features specially mentioned in the text. 

(1.) The first of these is its " righteous7iess." This 
is the literal meaning of the word Melchisedec, — " first 
being by interpretation King of righteousness." 

This is one of the leading 2>crson«l characteristics of 
the Messiah Himself. The inspired writers have given 
to this feature the utmost prominence. It would seem 
that they intended to represent this Kingdom in the 
I'ersun at its head. " Lejoice greatly, daughter of 
/inn; shout, <> daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy 
King Cometh unto thee; he is just, and having sal- 
vation" (Zech. ix. 9). He is called by the Almighty 
Father, "My righteous Servant" (Isa. liii. 11); by the 
prophet, " a righteous Branch " (Jer. xxiii. 5) ; by St. 
l'aul, " the righteous Judge " (2 Tim. iv. 8) ; and by 


St. John, "Jesus Christ, the righteous" (1 John ii. 1). 
The word is moreover used as a perfect embodiment of 
His character. " He is the Sun of righteousness," 
radiating His holiness, and justice, and truth, and 
purity ; and upon those who fear His name will He 
" arise " in all the glory of these attributes, " with 
healing in his wings." "And this is his name 
whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Eighteous- 
ness." So that, while He is righteous Himself, He is 
made so to us; and we therefore become " the righteous- 
ness of God in him." " But \mto the Son he saith, 
Thy throne, God, is for ever and ever : a sceptre of 
righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou 
hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity " (Heb. 
i. 8, 9). 

The Laws of this Kingdom are framed in righteousness. 
'In the remedial scheme there is a divine adaptation 
between the object to be attained and the instru- 
mentality by which it is to be secured. The design 
of these laws is to make the subjects of this kingdom 
righteous, and therefore happy ; so the laws them- 
selves are " holy, and just, and good." You will search 
the records of the Messiah's Ministry in vain for any, 
the slightest justification of impurity or injustice. " I 
that speak in righteousness" is His rightful appellation. 
" The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness," 
is a phrase which marks the manner and subject of 
His teaching. " Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and 
for the word of thy righteousness," is the Psalmist's 
desire, when longing to meditate upon the law of truth. 
" Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, 
and thy law is the truth." It is not therefore by 


caprice that the subjects of this Kingdom are governed. 
They are not placed in any uncertainty, either as to 
their duty or their final reward. As they will be 
judged by the Gospel, so they are now ruled by the 
Gospel. " Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, 
and princes shall rule in judgment." 

The Administration of this Kingdom is marked by 
righteousness. This is one part of the work to which 
Christ was designated by the Spirit's anointing. 
" Behold my servant whom I uphold ; mine elect, in 
whom my soul delighteth ; I have put my Spirit upon 
him : he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles ; 
he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall 
not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment 
in the earth ; and the isles shall wait for his law " 
(Isa. xlii. 1-4). 

Every part of His administration is done in righteous- 
ness. The pardoning of a sinner is a righteous act. 
By the grace of God, such a provision has been made, 
that while " he is just," He is " the justifier of him 
which believeth in Jesus." Through the atonement, 
therefore, forgiveness is offered on the simple terms of 
believing submission. The King has issued a decree 
" that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life." The sinner who trusts in 
Christ has a right to be pardoned. God is not only 
faithful but "just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse 
us from all unrighteousness." 

All the Privileges of this Kingdom are righteously 
bestowed. How vast soever may appear the con- 
descension, the King is not only willing, but graciously 
acknowledges it right, to become our Friend. He gives 


to us a portion of His own blessedness. His image 
He stamps upon us. His kingdom, which consists of 
" righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost," 
He sets up within us. Power over ourselves and sin 
and Satan He imparts to us. And all this is done as 
a matter of right. The Saviour has bought every 
privilege for us ; and because of His own purchase — of 
what is due to Himself — they are not withheld from us. 

In all the Awards of this Kingdom its righteousness 
will be seen. " With righteousness shall he judge the 
poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the 
earth : and he shall smite the earth with the rod of 
his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay 
the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of 
his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins " 
(Isa. xi. 4, 5). At the final consummation of this King- 
dom, He will inflict upon His enemies everlasting 
punishment, and reward His followers with immortal 
glory. " But the Lord shall endure for ever : he hath 
prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge 
the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment 
to the people in uprightness " (Ps. ix. 7, 8). 

(2.) The second characteristic of this mediatorial 
Kingdom is its "peace." This is the literal import of 
the word " Salem," " and after that also King of Salem, 
which is King of peace." Most fitly are these twc 
features of Messiah's rule associated in the text. They 
are inseparable. " Mercy and truth are met together : 
righteousness and peace have kissed each other." And 
probably it is not without reason that they are found 
in this order; first righteousness and then peace. It 
would seem that the one was in some sort the effect 


of the other. " And the work of righteousness shall 
be peace ; and the effect of righteousness quietness 
and assurance for ever" (Isa. xxxii. 17). 

(i.) Tliis Kingdom is designed to promote peace between 
<!ud and man. The history of our fearful rebellion 
is, alas ! well known. You read it, not only on the 
inspired page, but in the conflicting passions of your 
own heart, as well as in the deranged and shattered 
condition of human society. But it is far more easy 
to realize the fact of the Fall than the danger to which 
it exposed us. The wrath of the Sovereign was in pro- 
portion with His own dignity and our ingratitude ; and 
had not His infinite goodness thrown out the scheme 
if remedy, the world's progenitor had been at once 
cast into helL This Kingdom, however, was established. 
Jesus was made its Head. In virtue of His Mediator- 
ship, He was designated " The Prince of peace ; " and 
now through His intervention, God and man may again 
be one. 

There is the peace of forgiveness. God enters 
into solemn covenant to pardon our rebellion, when 
we accept His terms of penitence and trust. This 
covenant is sealed by the blood of His Son as a proof 
of His faithfulness to us. And no sooner does the poor 
sinner rely on Christ, than the face of the Father smiles 
with benignityand love. The divine affection is thrown 
upon the penitent rebel ; and, " being justified by faith, 
he has peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." 
There is the peace of tranquillity. While the breast 
of the wicked is the scene of warring passions, of 
tumult, and of harrowing fears ; the "Prince of peace" 
transfuses through the bosom of His followers "the 



peace that passeth all understanding." " Peace I leave 
with you ; my peace I give unto you. Let not your 
heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." 

There is also the peace of spiritual prosperity. It 
is not in the storm of strife that the Christian finds his 
happiest and most prosperous moments. It is rather 
when he is lying at the Saviour's feet, confessing his 
sins, and having communion with God, that he makes 
the greatest progress. " Thou wilt keep him in perfect 
peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he 
trusteth in thee." 

(ii.) This Kingdom is, moreover, designed to promote 
peace between man and man. For many thousands of 
years, the earth has been an extended battlefield, upon 
which millions of human beings have been slain. It is 
true this is the legitimate result of sin. When men 
became the enemies of God, they were likely to become 
enemies of one another. And however deplorable the 
spectacle which history presents in this matter, we are 
not to expect any decided improvement, except as the 
Gospel extends its peaceful sway. Let those who 
shudder at "the horrid alarum of war," extend the 
Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and establish His throne 
among the savage tribes of men; and then "in his 
days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of 
peace so long as the moon endureth." 

No language can adequately describe the tragedies 
of battle. You may speak of the roar of artillery, the 
clang of the trumpet, the flash of the sword, the shrieks 
of the wounded, the blood of the dying, and the bodies 
of the dead ; but you fall infinitely short of the scenes 
upon which the eye has often gazed. 


" The tumult of each sacked and burning village ; 

The shout, that every prayer for mercy drowns ; 
The soldiers' revel in the midst of pillage ; 

The wail of famine in beleaguered towns ; 
The bursting shell ; the gateway wrenched asunder ; 

The rattling musketry ; the clashing blade ; 
And ever and anon, in tones of thunder, 

The diapason of the cannonade." 

But oh ! " the King of peace " will put an end to 
this. " How beautiful upon the mountains are the 
feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth 
peace ; that bringeth good tidings of good, that 
publisheth salvation ; that saith unto Zion, Thy God 

The day is coming — and it approaches in swiftness 
just in the proportion in which this Kingdom ex- 
tends — when the battlefield of the world shall be 
converted into a paradise of peace ; when the booming 
of the cannon shall be heard no more ; when the cries 
of the war-made widow and fatherless children shall be 
hushed into silence ; when men, instead of uttering 
provocation and insult, shall " follow after peace," and 
their hearts shall be bound up in the brotherhood of 
the world. Our King " shall judge among the nations, 
and shall rebuke many people ; and they shall beat 
their swords into plowshares and their spears into 
pruniug-hooks : nation shall not lift sword against 
nation, neither shall they learn war any more." 

It is obvious to remark that the peace of the world 
is eminently dependent upon the peace of the Church. 
If the Church be torn up by strife and division, its 
efforts for the spread of truth will be paralyzed; while 
an intense and divinely effected union of heart will 



nerve its energies for universal conquest. " Pray foi 
the peace of Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love 
thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity 
within thy palaces. For my brethren and com- 
panions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. 
Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek 
thy good." 

II. As a Priest. 

As the Priesthood of Christ is indissolubly connected 
with the doctrine of this Epistle, so does it immediately 
bear upon the well-being and felicity of man. 

Those who call it in question and treat it with 
derision, little know what a blight they would bring 
upon the soul's interests ; and to what a fearful 
Aceldama they would soon reduce our world. 

Among the many lessons which this Priesthood is 
designed to teach, it is not to be forgotten that it 
establishes the connection between the Old and New 
Testaments ; and while it proves the inspiration of the 
Bible, it shows the truth of Christianity itself. Well 
has it been stated that this connection " is so intimate 
that the Apostles find no difficulty in using the language 
of precedent figurative and ceremonial dispensations, 
when explaining the nature of Christianity ; the Cross 
of Christ they speak of as an altar; the Person of 
Christ as a Lamb ; His death as a sin-offering ; His 
ascension as an entry into the most holy place ; and 
His Ministry there as a propitiatory intercession." 

1. The nature of this Priesthood. 

Under the Mosaic economy, this office was divided, 
into three parts, each of which pointed to Christ. 


(1.) There was the offering of sacrifice. According 
to the prescribed ritual, did the high priest slay the 
victim and offer it upon the altar. " For every high 
priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices : where- 
fore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat 
also to offer." The Saviour poured forth His own 
blood upon the altar, and His death was the propitia- 
tion for the sins of the world. 

" He hath given himself for us, an offering and a 
sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour." " So 
Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." 

(2.) The second part of the office was to make inter- 
cession. With the blood in his hand did the priest 
enter the holy place ; and having sprinkled it upon 
the altar, he confessed his own sins and the sins of 
the people, and implored the forgiveness of Heaven. 
" We have a great high priest that is passed into the 
heavens, Jesus the Son of God." " Wherefore he is 
able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto 
God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make interces- 
sion for them." 

(3.) The third feature of this priesthood was that 
<>/ hhssing. It is to this particular that the text 
especially refers. While Melchisedec is called em- 
phatically the " priest of the most high God," this is 
the only priestly act recorded of him. When he 
" met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the 
kings," he lilted up his hands, and pronounced a bene- 
diction upon Abraham's head. But this act of blessing 
is by no means confined to the order of Melchisedec. 
It was a part of the regular service, which the Aaronic 
order was required to fulfil : when the sacrificial blood 


was offered in the temple, and the priest had made 
intercession for the people, he came forth from God's 
presence, and pronounced the triune blessing upon the 
multitudes who were waiting for it. " Speak unto 
Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall 
bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, ' The 
Lord bless thee and keep thee : The Lord make his 
face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee : 
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give 
thee peace.' " 

How exactly is this type fulfilled in our Eedeemer. 
The great scheme of mercy which was perfected in His 
death, and the efficiency of which is now seen in His 
intercession, is one of blessing. The world was under 
a curse. The body of man was smitten by it — the 
mind was paralyzed — the soul was endangered. His 
circumstances and pleasures and anticipations were 
blasted ; but Christ in His priestly character has 
been " made a curse for us ; for it is written, Cursed 
is every one that hangeth on a tree." 

Angels at His birth sounded the key-note of the 
melody, which shall fill earth and heaven : " Glory to 
God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill 
toward men." 

Every footstep in His public life was one of blessing. 
His Sermon on the Mount fitly opens with nine bene- 
dictions, such as mouth had never uttered, and the 
mind of man had never before conceived. He " went 
about doing good ; " feeding the hungry ; pouring the 
balm of consolation into the troubled heart ; restoring 
the son to the bosom of his widowed mother : healing 
the paralytic ; and bestowing the " virtue " of His 


blessing to those who crowded upon His path. But 
amid all this temporal good, the souls of men were 
not forgotten. That we might be blessed, He " became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." 
" God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to 
bless you, in turning away every one of you from his 

His last act in this world was a remarkable epitome 
of his whole life, and a promise of his future priest- 
hood. It would seem as if His disciples, at that 
moment, sustained a federal character. He blessed 
them, and through them He blessed the human race. 
" And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he 
lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came 
to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from 
them, and carried up into heaven." He yet exercises 
this part of His priesthood. Though ascended to 
heaven, and seated at the right hand of the Father, He 
is still engaged in the great work of blessing the 
world. " Having received gifts for men, yea, even for 
the rebellious also," He dispenses them with all the 
freeness of His grace, and the plenitude of our wants. 
" Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings 
in heavenly places in Christ." 

The blessing which as our High Priest He bestows 
upon us, may be said to be just that which we require. 
To the careless and depraved He, by His Spirit, gives 
conviction. To the stricken penitent He gives " beauty 
for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of 
praise for the spirit of heaviness." The hungry and 
thirsty soul He fills with good things. To those who 


are in darkness He gives light ; to the tempted, grace ; 
to the afflicted, comfort ; and to the bereaved He gives 
Himself, as " a friend that sticketh closer than a 

No matter what may be your want, He has the 
blessing ready. In virtue of His priesthood, He throws 
His eye around your circumstances, and along yom 
path, to see what it is you need. Before you know 
your own necessities, He has prepared their supply. 
The storehouse of heaven is at His disposal ; and as 
long as Jesus is your Priest, all heaven shall be 
exhausted before you shall fail. 

2 . Mark the superiority of Messiah's Priesthood. — This 
is seen in the offering which Abraham made to Mel- 
chisedec. " To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part 
of all ;" and by this very act did he acknowledge 
the superiority of the priest. The priests of Aaron's 
order had a right to exact tithes of the Jewish people 
who were their brethren ; and this circumstance shows 
that in station and office they were considered superioi 
to their brethren. But all — both priests and people 
— acknowledge the superiority of Abraham, theii 
father and founder ; and yet even this man, great 
as he was in their estimation, palpably acknowledged 
the superiority of Melchisedec, in giving him tithes 
and in receiving his blessing, " and without all contra- 
diction the less is blessed of the better." If, then. 
Abraham was considered so much greater than the 
Aaronic priesthood, who came out of his loins ; and 
if Melchisedec is acknowledged so much superior 
to Abraham himself, of course the order of the one 
priesthood is far superior to the other. 


The design of the Apostle was to present a very 
elevated view of the character of Melchisedec. He 
does this effectually by this historic allusion ; and by 
this means does he show the supremacy of Christ's 
priesthood. The transfer of the priestly office from 
Aaron to Christ, which is involved in this passage, 
has a most prominent place in the general argument. 
The fact itself shows that the order of Aaron was not 
perfect ; and that under the Christian economy, when 
" life and immortality " are " brought to light through 
the Gospel," a change was absolutely required. " If, 
therefore, perfection were by the Levitical priesthood 
(for under that the people received the law), what further 
need was there that another priest should rise after 
the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the 
order of Aaron ? " It is our distinguished privilege to 
live amid the superior provisions of Messiah's priest- 
hood. The " shadow of good things to come " has 
given place to the good things themselves. The mere 
outline of the picture has been filled up with all its 
beauty of colouring and reality of blessing. The 
twilight of the morning, confessedly cheering and 
full of promise, is lost in the splendour of the orb 
of day. The dark places of the earth, which would 
probably never have been reached under the former 
economy, will rejoice in the light, and bask in the 
beams of the " Sun of righteousness." The priesthood 
of Christ is inseparably connected with a redeemed 
and heaven-sanctified universe. More than yEolian 
melody is to fill the world. Men will be transformed 
into seraphs, and Heaven will come down to earth. 
3. The perpetuity of this PricsthowK — " Without 



father, without mother, without descent, having neither 
beginning of days nor end of life." In days gone 
by, this passage has occasioned no little controversy 
among learned and pious men. This very fact must 
put us on our guard against dogmatic interpretation ; 
but with the lights which the Scriptures themselves 
furnish, and the study of past ages has supplied, 
we shall be able to come to a satisfactory conclusion. 
The expression " made, like unto " probably means Who 
may be compared unto " the Son of God." That is, there 
are points of resemblance between Melchisedec and 
Christ in his name, in the fact that he had neither 
ancestors nor posterity, in the union of his kingship 
and his priesthood — all of which are calculated to 
show the supremacy of Christ over the house of Aaron. 
Without father, without mother, without descent or 
pedigree. This last term we take to be exegetical of 
the former two. He is said to be without father 
and mother, simply because his genealogy or pedigree 
is not recorded. The ancient Syriac version has in 
all probability the proper rendering : " Of whom 
neither the father nor mother is reckoned in the 

(1.) These expressions cannot be applied to Mel- 
chisedec personally. It is true the phrase " without 
father " literally means one who has no father ; but 
even in classical writings does it quite as truly mean 
one whose father is unknown. There can be no 
question that Melchisedec had a pedigree, and was 
of royal descent ; and though these are not named, 
they are doubtless implied in the fact that he was 
cotemporary with the patriarch Abraham. 


(2.) They refer emphatically to his official life. As 
a Priest, he had " neither beginning of days nor end 
of life." As far as the record is concerned, he was an 
order in himself. He derived his office from none ; 
he resigned it to none ; and, like his great Antitype, 
he was all alone. 

There are two points of contrast here suggested 
between Melchisedec and Aaron, and therefore between 
Christ and Aaron. 

The first has reference to their introduction to 
office, and the second to their removal from it. In both 
these respects there was a perfect contrast, for Mel- 
chisedec had " neither beginning of days " — i.e. he 
had neither father nor mother, nor descent ; " nor end 
of life." 

The Levitical law was exceedingly stringent with 
regard to the genealogy of the priesthood. Each one 
was required to trace up his descent directly to Aaron. 
Any inability to do this, or doubt concerning it, 
unfitted him for the office. Eules the most exact 
were given respecting their marriages, to secure this 
accuracy ; and it would seem as if these particulars had 
been enjoined on purpose to form the contrast of which 
we speak. How utterly unlike this is the history of 
Melchisedec. So silent is the record of Moses that 
we do not even know from which of the sons of Xoah 
he had descended. In this respect was he " made like 
unto the Son of God." The divinity of our great High 
Priest is here apparent. The office which He under- 
took required more than mere humanity could bring. 
Aaron might be a type, but no more than a type of 
the world's Redeemer. Pure angelic nature could not 


supply all that the case required. The High Priest 
of universal man must be a Divine Being ; and being 
Divine, He must be from eternity, "whose goings 
forth have been from of old, from everlasting." The 
scheme of mercy, therefore, under which we live rests 
on a firm foundation. The " Son of God " is our 
Priest ; the whole temple of redemption stands in all 
its strength and adaptation on the Godhead of our 
Saviour. " In him dwelleth all the fulness of the 
Godhead bodily." 

The second part of the contrast, in which especially 
the perpetuity of Christ's priesthood is seen, refers 
to the termination of Aaron's order. In the fourth 
chapter of Numbers, it is stated five several times that 
the service was to commence at thirty, and end at fifty 
years of age. In later times, they began at twenty ; 
but that part of the record was unaltered which said, 
" And from the age of fifty years they shall cease 
waiting upon the service " of the tabernacle, " and 
shall work no more." During the remainder of their 
life, they kept their office comparatively without duty ; 
and death came at last, and took them away. But 
Melchisedec had " neither beginning of days nor end 
of life " — i.e. Moses is entirety silent with regard 
both to his death and his successor in office. This 
silence is designed to show that the priesthood of 
Christ is perpetual. " And here men," says the context, 
" that die receive tithes ; but there he receiveth them, 
of whom it is witnessed that he liveth." The vast 
number of priests of Aaron's order is proof that the 
office is not abiding. " And they truly were many 
priests, because they were not suffered to continue by 


reason of death : But this man, because he continueth 
ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood." 

And here we fix our hope of final salvation. There 
is to be no change in the method of forgiveness from 
that which is recognised in Christ. He is a Priest, as 
well as a King, for ever. " After the similitude of 
Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, who is made 
not after the law of a carnal" — frail, infirm, transitory — 
" commandment, but after the power of an endless life." 
As long as there are Countries without the Gospel, He 
maintains His seat, and guides the whole machinery 
of salvation. As long as there are impurities and 
strife and envy in the Churches, He will keep His 
position as the " refiner and purifier of silver." As 
long as there is a poor soul in the wide world un- 
pardoned, He is there to do His work. And then, 
when the grand consummation shall arrive ; when 
every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess ; 
when every heart shall be the abode of purity and 
blessing ; when the whole universe shall be trans- 
formed into a temple of praise and concord ; when 
His Priesthood and His Kingship shall have done 
their work ; He will resign both into the hands 
of the Father; and the Triune God shall be all in 

Application'. — 1. Are v:e the willing subjects of 
Christ's Kingdom ?■ "We refer to this Kingdom of Media- 
tion, though it is well for us to bear in mind that there 
is another Kingdom with which He is connected, and 
over which, with the Father and the Spirit, He 
eternally presides. All nature is under His command. 
'• Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth." 


But the question is not as to the fact of our being of 
His Mediatorial Kingdom, but whether we are its willing 
subjects. Assuredly He is our King. It matters not 
what rebellion we may stir up in our hearts against Him. 
Our depraved will cannot alter His right. Because 
He died to buy us, He has a right to rule us. Let us 
not forget that it is our own interest to love and serve 
Him. Think of the forgiveness He offers to the rebel, 
the honour He confers upon His followers, the pro- 
tection He affords His subjects, and the rewards 
which He gives to His faithful soldiers ; and then, 
as a matter of self-interest, yield to His will and 
obey His laws. It must be a willing service to be 
acceptable. He will take none as His servants, except 
by their own consent. 

2. Have, we appropriated the merits of His Priesthood ? 
Let us never forget the personal character of religion. 
As we shall by and by have to stand singly before the 
judgment-seat of Christ, to receive the reward of the 
deeds done in the body, so may we now go indi- 
vidually to the Saviour, and obtain the grace by which 
we shall then render a good account. The provision 
which has been made is perfect. " There remaineth 
no more sacrifice for sins." If you reject this, there 
is none other offered. It is a salvation which adapts 
itself to all circumstances and times and cases. You 
have no want which it cannot supply ; and this is 
one reason why it is the last system of mercy the 
world will ever hear of. It is full and complete, and 

Think upon what it has cost the Saviour to redeem 
you : think upon His willingness at this moment to 


save you : and then, feeling the pressure of these all- 
powerful motives, say : 

" Nay, but I yield, I yield ! 

I can hold out not more ; 
I sink, by dying love compelled, 

And own Thee conqueror." 



" Set a watch, Lord, before my mouth ; keep the door of 

MY LIPS. " — Ps. CXLI. 3. 

THAT was a sorrowful eventide in David's life, 
which found him fleeing from the presence of 
Saul, and seeking an asylum at the Court of the King 
of Gath. A presentiment was given to his old 
master that he would be his successor, if not his 
supplanter ; and Saul cherished the deadliest enmity 
and resolutions of revenge. He had already on more 
than one occasion sought to accomplish his purpose, 
but • Providence interposed ; and now for the second 
time he was delivered into David's hand ; who, if he 
had yielded to the impulse of retaliation, would at 
once have committed regicide, and taken possession of 
the throne. But with a magnanimity which is to the 
hero a greater glory than a thousand scars in battle, 
he withheld his hand ; and taking with him Saul's 
spear and cruse of water, as the token of his forbear- 
ance and unbloody victory, he stood in the distance, 
and with a gentle chiding said to his enemy : " Where- 
fore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant ? for 
what have I done ? or what evil is in mine hand ? " 
Once more David conquered by his generosity. Saul 



confessed his sin and folly, and returned to his palace 
a humbled and penitent man. David felt, however, 
that there was no prospect of peace or safety, if he 
remained within the kingdom. He therefore resolved 
to seek quiet in another, even though it were a 
heathen territory, and that very night he was on the 
way to Achish. Driven from his home and Country 
and religious privileges ; smarting under the remem- 
brance of unprovoked cruelty ; and with the knowledge 
that he was about to associate with ungodly people ; 
in one of those silent watches, he lifted his heart to 
heaven, and wrote this Psalm : " Lord, I cry unto 
thee : make haste unto me ; give ear unto my voice, 
when I cry unto thee." This solemn invocation 
expresses the profound distress of the Psalmist's soul, 
which was now heightened by the consideration that 
he was separating himself from the service and 
help of the sanctuary. " Let my prayer be set before 
thee as incense." In the temple worship, the people 
prayed without, while the priests offered the incense 
within the holy place; so this afflicted exile asks that 
his supplications and heart devotion, presented in the 
wilderness, might be regarded by God as though they 
had been rendered in the sanctuary itself. " And the 
lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." 
When the priests had presented the daily offering in 
the temple, they came forth to the multitudes outside ; 
and lifting up their hands above their heads, and 
spreading forth their fingers toward heaven, they pro- 
nounced the benediction in the form of words which 
God had prescribed : " The Lord bless thee and keep 
thee ; the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and 


be gracious unto thee ; the Lord lift up his coun- 
tenance upon thee and give thee peace." So here 
David repeats his request that his distance from the 
place where the evening sacrifice was offered might 
not be a bar to the blessing which otherwise he would 
be able to claim. And then, remembering on the one 
hand his temptation to speak and think strongly 
against those who had most cruelly persecuted him ; 
and on the other that he was about to sojourn with 
the heathen, who would " catch " at his words and 
revile Jehovah, he devoutly prays : " Set a watch, 
Lord, before my mouth ; keep the door of my lips." 

I. Danger Apprehended. 
II. Deliverance Invoked. 

I. The Danger Apprehended. — Everything human, 
and therefore human language, is transitory and 
changing. There is a wondrous contrast between the 
Truth itself and the words in which it is conveyed. 
The one is immortal ; the other is dying. The one 
is the precious jewel, radiant, effulgent, enduring ; 
the other is the casket, beautiful perhaps as the pro- 
duct of human art, but earthly and fading. The one 
is the soul, spiritual and eternal ; the other is the 
body, material and mortal. The Truth will neither 
die nor change ; the language in which it is exhibited 
is constantly changing, or becoming obsolete. The 
text suggests one of those words which, even within 
the memory of living men, have undergone mutation 
as to their meaning. This passage refers us to the regu- 
lation of the tongue, or the right use and the abuse of 


conversation. In former days this term was employed 
with two significations : First, to denote the general 
course and conduct and habit of a man's life, as when 
St. Paul says, " Ye have heard of my conversation in 
time past in the Jews' religion." " Among whom 
also we all had our conversation in times past in the 
lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh 
and of the mind ; and were by nature the children of 
wrath, even as others." It was also used to mean 
citizenship : " For our conversation is in heaven." 
Both these meanings have become obsolete, and the 
word now signifies oral discourse. The improper use 
of the tongue is one of the most common and wide- 
spread dangers of society : its due regulation is one of 
the highest achievements of grace. 

The vast importance of guiding and controlling the 
lips, even as a branch of Christian ethics, cannot be 
over-estimated ; and, as in all other branches of duty, 
the Bible is our never- failing directory. St. James' 
Epistle does not receive all the attention which it 
deserves. It is full of statements and appeals touch- 
ing practical godliness. Listen to his teaching : " If 
any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth 
not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's 
religion is vain." He who cannot control his tongue, 
but permits it to become master of the will and 
judgment, is a self-deceiver and a hypocrite. But, on 
the other hand, " If any man offend not in word, the 
same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the 
whole body." He who has the absolute mastery of 
his lips holds the whole nature in check. He is the 
slave of neither appetite nor passion. The tongue is 



the test of self-government. No kinglier man ever 
sat upon a throne than he who is king of his own lips. 
In the long list of warriors which the scroll of history- 
supplies, there is no name so illustrious as that of the 
humble Christian who has subdued his tongue, and 
holds his words under constant and easy govern- 
ment. The Apostle goes on to illustrate and enforce 
his statement : " Behold, we put bits in the horses' 
mouths, that they may obey us ; and we turn about 
their whole body." An unbroken steed is the master 
of the rider, instead of the man being the master of the 
steed ; and, until the bit is recognised and obeyed, 
there is imminent danger. If the tongue be un- 
bridled, there is not only danger from the member 
itself, but the man who is its slave and victim is 
dangerous to society. You should avoid, as you would 
a pestilence, or the leprosy, or a raging madman, the 
person whose mouth is not under restraint. And so 
again : " Behold also the ships, which though they be 
so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they 
turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever 
the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little 
member, and boasteth .great things. Behold, how 
great a matter a little fire kindleth." See you that 
vessel upon the water, exposed to adverse currents ? 
The gale swells and the waves run high. You wonder 
why it keeps the track, and is saved from the rocks. 
The reason is that the pilot is at the helm, and holds 
fast and guides the rudder, and thereby controls the 
waves and reaches the port. But look at the little 
ship in fatal peril. The winds blow a hurricane, and 
she is driven hither and thither. The bulwarks are 


breaking up ; and the leaky, cracking, sinking craft 
tells you that the pilot has no power, for the helm 
is lost. There is always danger to the man's own 
character, and to the reputation and comfort of others, 
if the tongue, like the rudderless vessel, is beyond 
control. Now this teaching is confirmed by every 
part of the Bible. The due regulation of the tongue 
is intimately connected with the maintenance of our 
religion here, and will be a large item in the process 
of judgment at the final day. The Great Teacher said 
that " out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 
speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of 
the heart bringeth forth good things, and an evil man 
out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil 
things. But I say unto you that every idle word that 
men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the 
day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be 
justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." 

We may well, therefore, fix attention on the danger 
of improper conversation. 

1. There is the conversation which is absolutely 
impure and wicked. It is put on record that one of 
the most grievous sins of the cities of the plain, 
through which they were utterly and for ever over- 
thrown, was the lewdness and bestiality of their talk. 
Lut " was vexed with the filthy conversation of the 
wicked. For that righteous man dwelling among 
them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul 
from day to day with their unlawful deeds." 

A man, perhaps, little thinks of the fearful effect 
which one impure sentence, or even word, uttered in 
the hearing of others, may have upon surrounding 


society and to a long posterity A single drop oi 
some poisonous essence, falling into the lake, maj 
diffuse itself far and wide, until the very margin shal 
be reached, and the verdure tainted. But in that case 
the poison becomes diluted, and the farther it spreads 
the feebler and less noxious is its influence. 

With our words, however, it is far different. Mora" 
evil becomes more dangerous as it spreads. There fell 
an immoral expression in the course of conversation sucl 
as worldly people are too apt to indulge in. The eai 
of the child caught it, and soon it took possession oi 
the mind. It saturated his intellect, and seethed 
through the affections, and begot impure desires 
And by and by the filthy word beamed in the eye 
and he looked out for improper companions, and 
formed unclean associations. That word reached his 
lips, and he gave himself to unholy jesting and lewc 
conversation. It led him to dishonest practices and 
scenes of vice ; and perhaps the young man fell intc 
an untimely, and loathsome, and outcast grave. Bui 
observe, saying nothing of the immortal interests 
involved, the evil did not end there. He dropped the 
poison into a hundred bosoms. They all became 
reeking with the aggravated moral filth. A whole 
family, or village, or portion of a city population, was 
debauched ; and it may be that while many have 
already fallen into the cruel tomb, many more are now 
plunged into the vortex of ruin, and many more also 
are on their way to death. 

In some large circle of business, one of the princi- 
pals casually dropped an atheistical expression. The 
young man at the desk heard what the sceptic said, 


It rang in his ear; and then struck, like the forked 
lightning, into his mind. Every power was reached 
and scorched; and now, taking the lead of his em- 
ployer, he avows himself a freethinker, and at length 
a downright infidel. Such seed soon produces fruit. 
He makes religion the subject of jest among his 
companions, and some are ruined. He reasons that 
if there be no God, there is no divine source of law. 
The whole fabric of society rests on mere conven- 
tionalism. He embraces the principles of socialism 
and communism. The step becomes very easy from 
scepticism to falsehood, and from falsehood to theft. 
He robs the man whose word ruined him, and ends 
Lis days in disgrace and beggary ; while perhaps, 
through all time, the results of that fatal conversation 
will be felt in the moral damage of many. Do not 
say that the picture is overwrought. It is not too 
much to affirm that a single book has been the ruin 
of a nation, that one life employed in the utterance of 
impurity or blasphemy has imperilled the existence 
of a State ; and how that one sad life may have 
been moulded and influenced by some one wicked 
word or sentence the day of eternity will alone reveal. 
In your most confidential conversations, in your 
private circles, in your social gatherings, in your 
daily business, and in your intercourse with the out- 
side world, remember the text, " Set a watch, Lord, 
before my mouth ; keep the door of my lips." 

2. There is the conversation which is untruthful. 
Xext in depravity to the filthy are the lying lips. 
The man, be he young or old, who can deliberately 
attempt to deceive, by stating what he knows to be 


untrue, must have descended the moral scale at a 
rapid rate, and is only a single step from irretrievable 

Truthfulness is one of the bases of the social struc- 
ture. A company of liars will do more to break up 
a Constitution and overthrow a Government, than a 
battalion of armed men. If a man's word is not to 
be credited, the whole framework of society is in- 
secure. The domestic circle loses its confidence, and 
is pervaded by distrust. Friendship receives a shock 
and its smiles are turned to blackness. The honour 
and honesty of commerce are invaded, and the ex- 
change is transformed into an arena of wrangling and 
deceit. And even the Throne itself is in imminent 
peril, if the lips which surround it are not as loyal tc 
truth as the swords which guard it are truthful tc 
loyalty. One of the most detestable as well as dan- 
gerous characters in society is the liar. Alas that the 
statement of our poet cannot be contradicted : 

" Falsehood and fraud grow up in every soil, 
The product of all climes. " 

And so extreme is this vice in its turpitude, that foi 
the sake of our families, and for the sake of oui 
Country, and for the honour of the God of truth, wc 
should avoid and shun the character as we would the 
deadliest reptile. Well is it said that " after a tongue 
has once got the knack of lying, 'tis not to be 
imagined how impossible almost it is to reclaim it.' 
Young men, especially, who have any regard for theii 
own reputation, and have any desire to make the 
journey of life successfully, will beware of this danger 


" Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man 
truth with his neighbour ; for we are members one of 

3. There is the danger of slanderous conversation, 
or of evil speaking; for the expressions may denote 
the same sin. The worst form which this evil 
assumes is, when absolute falsehoods of our own in- 
vention are spread concerning, and to the damage of, 
others. It takes a somewhat modified form, when 
reports are circulated to their disadvantage, about the 
truth of which we have not given ourselves the trouble 
to inquire ; and then the mildest exhibition of it is, 
when we speak of others what may be really true, if we 
do it in a wrong spirit, and from an unworthy motive. 

Xow with regard to those who slander in the first 
of these forms, we are compelled to put them into the 
category of the " liar who has no part in the kingdom 
of heaven." It may be that the danger of our times 
is in the two modifications of evil speaking: saying 
what we are not certain is the truth concerning others, 
and saying the truth wickedly. Oh ! if the walls of 
our dwellings and places of business could speak, what a 
tale of slander would they unfold ! Those scientific men 
who devote their thought especially to sanitary matters, 
when speaking of the ill effects of impure air and im- 
proper ventilation, will give us an illustration like this: 
If the foul " air exhaled by each person," in a room, 
" were coloured, so that we could trace its course as it 
wound round and round, and was re-inhaled by others, 
and again exhaled with a darker tint than before ; and 
could we see the room thus gradually darkening under 
the influence of this vapour, as it meandered in 


poisonous streams around its unconscious victims, we 
should need no further inducement either for remedy- 
ing the defect," or quitting the place. The moral 
ventilation needs as thorough attention as the worst 
ventilated atmosphere of a City population. " Could 
that air which is exhaled in the poisonous vapours of 
evil speaking and scandal, be tinged as it passed the 
speaker's lips, to the same hue as the temper which 
shaped it into words ; and could each succeeding 
sentence of detraction deepen the tint ; how soon 
would the most brilliantly - lighted room become 
obscure, and the head of each occupant be circled 
with a halo the reverse of that glorious brightness, 
with which we are wont to adorn those whom we 
admire and reverence." What a gain it would be to 
the interests of morality and religion, if the "noxious 
•etream of slander could be stemmed," and the discus- 
sions of character in our social circles be abandoned 
for ever! Here and there you meet with one, appear- 
ing as an angel unawares among us, whose high-toned 
honour, and purity of mind, repel the slander, and 
from whose scathing glance the imp of evil-speaking 
hides its ugly head. The following sentence is re- 
corded in the diary of a well-known English lady : 
" My friend and I had a long walk together, and we 
agreed that for the next week we would try and not 
say a single word against any one." The repeating of 
this record may appear singular, if not simple. But 
we believe that if such a record were made and kept 
by all the population around us, a transformation from 
moral winter to spring would present itself, more 
sudden and bursting and glorious than the face of 


nature ever saw. No language too strong can 
possibly be used to denounce this sin. It is damag- 
ing to the slandered, to the slanderer, and to the 
hearer. It is of its father the devil, and bears his 
undoubted image and superscription. 

" Xo might nor greatness in mortality can ensure 
escape." " Back-wounding calumny the whitest virtue 
strikes." " What king so strong, can tie the gall up 
in the slanderer's tongue?" "Let all bitterness, and 
wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be 
put away from you, with all malice." 

4. The conversation which is insincere. It is diffi- 
cult to decide as to which of two characters is the 
more to be blamed, the flatterer, or the vain person 
who is willing to be flattered. They are perhaps 
equally guilty, for " flattery is " said to be " often a 
traffic of mutual meanness, where, although both 
parties intend deception, neither is deceived." 

With what high scorn does the truthful, honest, 
independent Christian spirit look down upon the 
drivelling creature, who approaches him, with fawning 
manner and smooth words of praise, which come only 
from the lips. Why, even if he felt the eulogy to be 
deserved, it is not only unwelcome, but loathsome, if 
it be destitute of sincerity. The bland expression of 
the tongue when there is no gladness of heart ; the 
invitation put in honied phrase, but with the quiet 
hope that it will not be accepted ; the words which 
were never intended to do anything but charm the ear ! 

No adulation ; 'tis the death of virtue ; 
Who flatters is of all mankind the lowest, 
Suve he who courts the flattery." 


5. There is querulous conversation. Some persons 
seem to think that the calling of their life is to find 
fault with others ; and they are resolved to fulfil their 
destiny. Fahle tells of the magic wand, which turned 
everything which it touched into gold. But the 
tongue of the fault-finder possesses an exhaustless 
store of acid, whose every drop corrodes and cankers, 
wherever it falls. There must be a strange lack of 
goodness in the heart which can never see any good 
in others. That must be a miserable spirit, which is 
always pouring forth misery. The angel smile of 
infancy, the musical prattle of childhood, the merry 
laugh of youth, the bliss of the sunshine, the perfume 
of the flower, the heavenliness of doing good, which 
gladden most Christian people, and do something 
towards alleviating the original curse, are all lost upon 
these locusts of society. All verdure withers beneath 
their blighting influence. 

6. There is insipid and idle and foolish conversa- 
tion. Many of the so-designated friendly calls which 
the usages of life demand, and some of the pleasur- 
able gatherings of society, must be here condemned. 
Surely persons possessed of ordinary intellect, and the 
gifts of speech, can spend their time better than in 
the merest gossip ! One of our strong objections to 
the reading of novels will apply to idle and foolish 
talk; you have no time for it. Saying nothing of 
the mentally-weakening tendency of the habit, the 
moments are too golden and precious. Death will 
soon be upon you. Whether the work of life be 
then finished or not, you must leave it. In the 
arrangement and division of your time, which Provi- 


dence has marked out for you, there are no interstices 
for pointless, meaningless conversations, or for foolish 
jesting. Bishop Burnet, in the History of his Own 
Times, writes a eulogy upon the heavenly-minded 
Leighton ; and says, " In a free and frequent con- 
versation with him, for twenty-two years, I never 
heard him utter an idle word, or a word that had not 
a direct tendency to edification ; and I never saw him 
in any other frame of mind, than that in which I wish 
to die." No man can aim at a nobler attainment, 
and none need covet a higher testimony. " Let your 
speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, 
that ye may know how ye ought to answer every 

7. There is also ill-timed conversation. Solomon 
says that " to everything there is a season, and a time 
to every purpose under the heaven;" and in his long 
enumeration of things and seasons, he says : " a time 
to keep silence, and a time to speak." There are many 
good persons, whose influence is lost, because it is not 
appropriately exercised. They speak just at the 
moment when of all other moments they should keep 
silence ; and open not their lips when the opportunity 
comes. A right word in a wrung place will sometimes 
do more harm than absolute silence, or it may be even 
than a wrong word uttered by another person. A 
Continental writer says that it is an offence " to speak 
of entertainments before the indigent; of sound limbs 
and health before the infirm ; of houses and lands 
before one who has not so much as a dwelling — in a 
word, to speak of your prosperity before the miserable." 
The power to adapt well, and fit in conversation, with 


the persons and circumstances around you, is a gift 
which we shall do well to cultivate. " A wise man's 
heart discerneth both time and judgment. A 

word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures 
of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of 
fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient 

On a review, therefore, of the danger to which we 
are exposed, both in public and private life, from the 
careless or evil government of the tongue, may we say 
with the Psalmist : " Who can understand his errors ? 
Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy 
servant also from presumptuous sins ; let them not 
have dominion over me : then shall I be upright, and 
I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let 
the words of my mouth and the meditations of my 
tfeart be acceptable in thy sight, Lord, my strength 
and my Eedeemer." 

II. The Deliverance Invoked. — As the Psalmist 
realized his danger, arising both from the cruel per- 
secution of his former friends, and the heathen 
people into whose society he was now thrown, he 
lifted up his heart to the Source of all strength, 
and prayed for restraining grace. He felt keenly 
the temptation to sj)eaJc strongly against his enemies, 
because of the injury he had sustained ; and he asked 
that he might be able so to govern himself, as not 
only to be kept from violence, but from the utter- 
ance of a revengeful or even complaining word. 
Just as on another occasion he felt the importance of 
self-control, and wrote, " I said, I will take heed to my 


ways, that I sin not with my tongue ; I will keep my 
mouth with a bridle, while the ungodly is before me ; " 
but when he could keep silence no longer, and the 
pent-up feeling irrepressibly burst forth, his language 
was not of severity or invective, but of deep humility 
and piety : " Lord, make me to know mine end, and 
the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know 
how frail I am." 

The force of the metaphor of the text is apparent. 
Xature has made the mouth the door to language ; and 
the prayer is, that grace may act the part of watchman, 
to stand before and keep the door, so that no improper 
word may ever find egress. It is sufficiently bad to 
have the evil thoughts within, festering and corroding 
the heart ; but it is far better that they should be kept 
there, than that they should escape the lips, and pour 
forth upon society their poisonous and blighting breath. 
These thoughts are often eager to escape. Like the 
hardened wretch who, though he knows no remorse 
for crime, yet loathes his cell, and longs to snap the 
chain and escape from prison ; like the fiery steed 
whose blood burns at the restraint of the bridle, and 
whose proud spirit spurns the bit, and seeks to plunge 
from the rider's grasp; like the panting hound, 
furious to break the leash and pursue the prey ; these 
wicked thoughts long to find utterance. But David 
says : " Set a watch, Lord, before my mouth ; keep 
the door of my lips." 

1. The first thought here is, that there is something 
worth guarding, and something which aught to he re- 
strained. Language is the great gift of God. It is one 
of the noble distinctions between man and the inferior 


creation. It is the power by which intellects become 
blended, and which links loving hearts together. And 
while it is the coinage of society, and the means by 
which the world of commerce and of nations transacts 
its business and maintains its life, it is the agency by 
which — just like the electric wire — Christianity sends 
its messages of mercy, and by which the redeemed and 
sanctified shall glorify Christ for ever. "All people, 
nations, and languages shall serve him." "There is no 
speech nor language where their voice is not heard. 
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their 
words unto the end of the world." 

But while language is God's gift, the use or abuse 
of it is man's responsibility. What a mighty power 
has the tongue for both good and evil ! St. James's 
description of a mischievous tongue is one of the most 
startling and terrible ever put into human language : 
" Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth 
great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire 
kindleth ! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity : 
so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth 
the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; 
and is set on fire of Hell. For every kind of beasts, 
and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, 
is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind : But the 
tongue can no man tame ; it is an unruly evil, full of 
deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the 
Father ; and therewith curse we men, which are made 
after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth 
proceedeth blessing and cursing." 

We have already seen the danger of improper con- 
versation ; now trace the blessing of guarded lips. But 


what human tongue could adequately pourtray the 
history of a good word ? You see the dewdrop as it 
forms upon the plant : its enriching moisture steals 
down the stem, and the tiny roots strike out their 
fingers, and seize more earth, and then the sapling 
rises, bending to the breeze, but ever throwing out its 
fibres, and stretching up its head toward heaven, and 
its arms around ; and it grows and grows, until the 
mighty oak rears its gigantic trunk, and throws its 
shade over the surrounding forest. You drop from 
your hand the least of seeds, which falls upon the 
ground. The little furrow is soon filled, and that 
mustard seed begins to spring. It bursts the earth 
above, and lives and grows. It shoots up and forth its 
branches, and they spread and spread, until the fowls 
of the air find a secure lodgment there. You throw a 
pebble upon the water. The act is almost noiseless ; 
but that little stone becomes at once a centre, and a 
circle well-nigh imperceptible at first is formed ; and 
then another and another, now widening and again 
enlarging ; and still another and another swells, until 
the outermost circumference is made, and sweeps the 
verdant shore. 

A holy thought begins to form itself in the Christian's 
mind ; and the door of the lips is opened, and the little 
fledgling comes forth, and flies on its errand of mercy. 
With the golden sheen upon its wings, it hastens to 
the child, and whispers purity and blessing : it goes to 
the sick chamber, and warbles comfort to the tossed 
and afflicted saint ; it speaks decision to the wavering, 
and resolution to the tempted, and strength to the 
weak. It utters its note of warning to the careless, 


the lukewarm, and the erring. It carries its message 
of benediction to the closet, the family altar, the school- 
room, the sanctuary ; to the hospital, the lazaretto, the 
dungeon. It spreads its wings over the hoary Christian 
head, and pours down its melody of joy and hope ; and 
then plumes itself for the bed of the dying saint, where 
indeed like the bird of Paradise it sings sweetly of the 
light beyond the darkness, and the beaming glory 
which shall never die. The word of a good man lives 
and becomes reproductive. It excites other words of 
goodness, and they live : and through a neighbourhood, 
and in a generation, and down the ages, they sing on 
and out their appeal of love ; and by and by they 
shall swell the harmony of Heaven ; and the sound of 
their music will be heard for ever. " Who is a wise 
man, and endued with knowledge among you ? Let 
him show out of a good conversation his works, with 
meekness of wisdom." 

2. The second thought in this invocation is, that 
there, is danger from both within and without ; and 
therefore the necessity of watchfulness. 

3. The third thought is, that earnest vigilance can 

4. And, finally, the Source of this safety is divine. 
The prayer is to Him who is both able and willing to 
answer. " Set a watch, Lord, before my mouth." 

" Watch o'er my lips and guard them, Lord, 
From every rash and heedless word ; 
Nor let my feet incline to tread 
The guilty path where sinners lead. " 

The whole subject of daily, ordinary conversation 
demands consideration. It is impossible to look at the 


social structure, and examine this element of social 
life, without feeling that a great change is demanded. 
If instead of the miserable platitudes, or good-for- 
nothing gossip, which now does so much to kill our 
time and enervate the intellect, some really refreshing 
interchange of thought could be effected, how much 
more we should act like human and immortal beings ! 
And yet so vitiated is the social taste, that any attempt 
to realize this, by the use of wise and well-chosen 
language, would most likely secure contempt, and the 
intruder would probably be the object of derision. 

But ponder a few sentences which good English 
writers have left on this subject : " The first ingredient 
in conversation is truth, the next, good sense." " He 
who sedulously attends, pointedly asks, calmly speaks, 
coolly answers, and ceases when he has no more to say, 
is in possession of some of the best requisites of man." 
" The secret of tiring is to say everything that can be 
said on the subject." " Speak little and well, if you 
wish to be considered as possessing merit." " When I 
meet with any that write obscurely, or speak confusedly, 
I am apt to suspect two things : first, that such persons 
do not understand themselves ; and, secondly, that they 
are not worth being understood by others." "Eschew 
tine words as you would rouge ; love simple ones as 
you would native roses on your cheeks. Act as you 
might be disposed to do on your estate ; employ such 
words as have the largest families ; keep clear of 
foundlings, and of those of which nobody can tell whence 
they come, unless he happens to be a scholar." 

Let us see that our conversation is eminently Christian. 
We may well deplore the backwardness manifested on 



this subject. Our words flow freely on ordinary worldly 
topics. Business, politics, fashion, present no difficulty. 
But how ominous is the change when religious subjects 
are introduced. Make Christ the theme of your con- 
verse, and take Him as your pattern. " In him are hid 
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." " And 
all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious 
words which proceeded out of his mouth." Trace the 
records of His ministry with respect to conversation. 
He condemned the trifler and the jester, as much as 
the cynic and the hypocrite. No light and wanton 
words came from His lips, but words of purity and 
truth. Let us imitate our glorious Pattern, and by a 
sensible, earnest, and spiritual conversation " seek to 
minister grace unto the hearers." 




" Who for the joy that was set before him endured 
the Cross." — Heb. xii. 12. 

THEEE is a twofold view of Christ given to us in 
the latter part of this Epistle. As the Author 
of the Gospel economy, He is the subject of the whole 
composition ; but now that the Apostle, having gone 
through the doctrine, comes to the practical part of his 
work,he fixes attention on the Saviour: first, as the Object 
of our faith ; and secondly, as the Pattern of our life. 

The preceding chapter commences with a definition 
of faith, goes on to the citation of extraordinary 
illustrations and exhibitions of faith, and concludes 
with the final results and rewards of faith ; and in 
well-nigh all these instances, Jesus Christ is presented 
as its divine and saving Object. This twelfth chapter 
begins with the other thought — He is our glorious 
Pattern. " Wherefore," i.e. bearing in mind what has 
just been said, " seeing we also are compassed about 
with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside 
every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset 
us, and let us run with patience the race that is set 
before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher 



of our faith." There is here an allusion to the public 
games of the olden classic times, especially to the 
stadium of the Greeks and Eomans, where the persons 
stood who were about to engage in contests. Vast 
multitudes of people occupied the seats of the amphi- 
theatre, from which they could see the candidates for 
renown. Many of these witnesses were victorious 
combatants ; for none of those who had entered the 
arena in the morning received their prizes till sunset, 
when the toil and strife of the day were over. They, 
therefore, having won their laurels, took their seat, and 
watched their successors in the animated combat ; and 
when the last struggle was ended, all the champions 
were crowned together. 

So the illustrious saints of the eleventh chapter 
— the patriarchs and prophets and martyrs who passed 
through their conflicts in the earlier part of this day 
of time — are represented as gazing upon the Christian 
world, and watching the progress of the contest, and 
waiting for their full reward when we shall be all 
glorified together. 

With the conviction, then, that the clear and pene- 
trating eye of those glorified saints, who because of their 
number are called " so great a cloud of witnesses," is 
upon us, "let us lay aside every weight, and the sin 
which doth so easily beset us." 

Just as those who ran in the stadium prepared for 
the struggle by the strictest regimen of abstinence and 
exercise, and by disencumbering themselves of every- 
thing which might impede their progress, the Christian 
must be prepared, as he values the prize, and hopes 
to reach the goal, to put himself under moral restraint, 


and give up every hindrance. It may be pride, or 
ambition, or worldliness, or sensual appetite, or the 
love of wealth ; it must be laid aside, or he will soon 
be out-distanced, and the crown be lost. 

"We must all be on our guard against one sin. 
Each Christian will know which it is. In the case of 
the Hebrews, it was apostasy. Your " easily besetting," 
or convenient, or well-circumstanced, sin may be some- 
thing else. But whatever be your weak point, that 
must be specially guarded. 

" And let us run with patience," or perseverance. 
The simple meaning of the whole verse, divested of 
metaphor, is said to be this : " Since so many illustrious 
patriarchs, prophets, and martyrs, who preceded us, have 
exercised faith, persevered in it, and obtained the re- 
wards consequent upon it, let us in like manner, reject- 
ing every solicitation to renounce our hopes and our 
holy religion, persevere in the belief and in the duties 
which the Gospel requires." 

And that the Christian may be faithful to his call, 
he is directed to the great Example : " Looking unto 
Jesus ; " or, rather, looking off from the encompassing 
witnesses, fix your eye distinctly on Christ. To gaze 
on glorified spirits may be a powerful motive to per- 
severance ; but the most powerful motive you will find 
in looking at Jesus. See what He is : " The author 
and finisher of faith." See what He lias done : "Who 
for the joy that was set before him endured the cross." 

I. The Cross He endured. 
II. The Joy He anticipated. 

I. The Cross He endured. — There is a sublime unity 


of purpose in God's government of the world. Every- 
thing lives and moves, to hasten the consummation of 
Redemption's plan. The one point on which the 
divine eye is now fixed, is that millennium of glory 
which has been purchased by this Cross. All things 
are made to look at it, and bear upon it, and hurry 
towards it. Just as among the heavenly bodies there 
is a controlling hand, which does not permit the 
planet to leap out of its orbit, which secures to gravi- 
tation its authority, and works the whole celestial 
machine, so as to realize the harmony of the spheres 
and the safety of the world ; or, as in the realm of 
nature, you mark a presiding mind, which directs 
the seasons in their courses, gives to the valleys their 
verdure, the trees their foliage, and the flowers their 
perfume, and makes all tend to the supply and com- 
fort of living creatures ; so, in the grander work of 
God's moral government, there is the same oneness of 
aim and purpose. The whole world, so to speak, is 
living for one object ; everything material, intellectual, 
or rational, has its work to do, and looks on to the 
final issue. The dewdrop on its rosy couch, the artizan 
in his home of toil, the merchant in his counting-house, 
the statesman in his cabinet, the monarch upon the 
throne, — all, whether they recognise it or not, live and 
move and act, hastening on the salvation of the race. 
Everything since, the death of Christ has looked on to 
the millennium ; everything before the Saviour's coming 
looked on to the Cross. From the very moment that 
the promise of Eedemption was given, Providence pre- 
pared the way for its fulfilment. 

The lines of the world's history were thrown out in 


different directions ; but they were all thrown out by 
one hand, and then they converged to one centre. 
That centre was the Cross. Men, and systems, and 
kingdoms then lived for it. They now live through it. 
Let us gather under its shadow, and realize its mercy. 
We look upon the Cross — 

1. As the instrument of suffering. 

2. As the symbol of atonement. 

3. As the guarantee of blessing. 

1. The Cross — the instrument of suffering. The 
Person who endured the cross is " Jesus, the author 
and finisher of our faith," uniting in Himself the 
human and the divine natures — both of them neces- 
sary : the human suffering the penalty ; for He " bare 
our sins in his own body on the tree;" the divine 
giving merit and efficacy to those sufferings, so that a 
perfect atonement was offered for transgression. 

We look with anxiety, not to say alarm, upon the 
notion, which now finds favour with a few orthodox 
Christians, that the divine nature of Christ suffered on 
the cross. It is true there are two or three passages 
of Scripture which, superficially considered, might seem 
to favour this ; so also some lines of the Church's 
hymnology. But in every instance the reference is 
simply to the union of the two natures in the process 
of redemption; while the doctrine of the Godhead 
undergoing punishment stands opposed both to the 
dictates of common sense and the tenor of inspiration. 
It would shock the purest sensibilities of nine godly 
people out of every ten. It would fearfully damage 
evangelical truth, by giving a handle to Socinian heresy ; 


while it would involve the awful absurdity of the 
Divine Father and the Divine Spirit enduring agony ; 
for the Godhead is common to the three. 

Never, therefore, may it be said that " the Deity 
which is immutable could suffer, and which only hath 
immortality could die." It was the human nature 
both in its physical and mental parts which suffered 
on the cross. 

(1.) Physical suffering. His bodily constitution was 
the counterpart of ours ; for " it behoved him in all 
things to be made like unto his brethren." His whole 
life, therefore, was marked by human infirmity. He 
claimed no exemption from the hunger and thirst and 
liability to disease which are the attributes of our 
manhood. But during the three years of His public 
life, He endured a treatment of cruelty which never 
'knew a parallel. " Behold, and see if there be any 
sorrow like unto my sorrow." As His earthly exist- 
ence neared its close, the malice and fury of His adver- 
saries reached their highest pitch. Just like the 
troubled ocean, lashed into foaming madness by the 
northern blast, the impetuous passions of the Jews 
waxed into raging violence ; until at length in a wild 
chorus of execration they exclaimed, " Crucify him ! 
crucify him ! " You call to mind the plot for His 
betrayal, in which the apostate Judas took so pro- 
minent a part ; you see Him put in chains, and led 
away to a tribunal, where His most envenomed enemies 
were to act as judges. You remember how they sat up 
all night, that they might have the fiendish satisfac- 
tion of offering Him insult. Condemned by a magis- 
tracy, whose power of life and death had just been 


curbed by the Eoman Emperor, He was removed from 
the Jewish to the Imperial Court. He was accused 
before Pilate as a traitor ; but even that time-serving- 
mercenary declared Him guiltless. Then He was led 
to Herod's judgment-seat, and after unmerited con- 
tumely, was hurried back to Pilate. Here counsels 
of iniquity prevailed. The sentence was decreed, and 
He was given up to death. Now, the multitudes are 
sufficed, and hasten their preparations for the cruel 
consummation. They scourge His Mesh, and crown His 
head with thorns ; cover His body with some worn-out 
purple, in token of mock royalty ; fasten upon His 
shoulders the cross of wood ; and start the procession 
to the fated hill. See the excited crowds — some of 
their countenances are gleaming with revenge, and 
others are straining their eyeballs to the one spot 
where Jesus is led forth. It is a motley mass : old 
and young, rich and poor, male and female. High 
overhead, the helmets of the Eoman soldiers are flash- 
ing, while foremost in the procession, the white ephods 
of the priests tell of their eager presence. The gates 
of the City are passed by the pressing people ; and as 
they come to Calvary, a space of ground is cleared for 
the executioners to perform their task. Some dig the 
pit into which the cross will soon be thrown ; others 
strip Him of His garments, and reveal to the gaze of 

" His sacred limbs exposed and bare, 
• >r only covered with His blood : " 

while others still, throw Him down upon the ground, 
and stretch Him on the cross. .Spikes are driven through 
His hands and feet ; and then, uplifted from the earth, 


one end of the cross is violently plunged into the hole 
prepared for it. Jesus is suspended by the flesh, and 
His own prophecy begins its fulfilment : " And I, if I 
be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto 
me." Surely, as the impatient crowd catches the 
first glance of that upreared and bleeding form, there 
is a thrill of horror. His own timid friends in the 
distance are weeping. The scribes and priests look 
on with hellish scorn ; and even wag their heads in 
horrible mockery of His convulsive agony. The very 
malefactors at His side revile Him. The soldiers plunge 
a spear into His body. They give Him gall and vine- 
gar to increase the torment ; and after dying for six 
hours there, He cries, " It is finished : and he bowed 
his head and gave up the ghost." 

There are two features of suffering presented in the 
cross : agony and infamy. Death by crucifixion was 
not so much a Jewish as a Eoman punishment. It is 
true, history tells of 300 captive Jews who were cruci- 
fied in Jerusalem by one of their own kings ; but pre- 
viously to the Eoman conquest of Judea, criminals were 
put to death by stoning or strangulation. For some 
time, however, before the birth of Christ, the Country 
was tributary to Eome, and this more cruel death was 
inflicted upon malefactors. Nails were driven through 
the hands and feet into the two pieces of wood, 
which were transversely fastened to each other; and 
thus the sufferer hung upon his wounds, which were 
made in the most sensitive parts of the body, until the 
very life had languished itself away. The agony of the 
cross was such, that the Eomans deduced from it their 
expressions for extreme pain and torment; while the 


more merciful of the rulers would sometimes from pity 
cause a criminal to be slain first, and crucified afterwards. 

The Saviour's was the death of the cross. Oh, 
think of the gentleness of His address ; the simplicity 
of His manner ; the humility of His deportment : the 
tenderness of His affection ; the depth of His love ; 
and the unspotted purity of His life: think of the 
purpose of His mission, the benevolence of His teach- 
ing ; the kindness of His acts : and think of the 
fact, that even in the agonies of death, His heart went 
out in pity, and His lips uttered a prayer for His very 
murderers : and then contrast with this the utterly 
inexpressible agony of His dying. You see that they 
wish to crowd as much suffering into the last hours 
of life as they are able; for they wring the blood 
from His heart, only drop by drop. They desire to 
extract from His body as much of misery as it can 
yield ; and therefore they pierce it in those parts where 
the nerves are numerous. They resolve to protract 
the agony to the very last ; and therefore, instead of 
driving the nail to the heart, they strike those organs 
which are farthest from the seat of life. He " became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." 

The second feature of suffering suggested by the 
cross is infamy. We find some difficulty in realizing 
this thought. The original notion of the cross seems 
now to be lost in the halo of glory with which it has 
bean surrounded. In the first instance, perhaps, a real 
affection for the Saviour directed attention to the wood 
on which He suffered. This was followed by a regard 
for it, as the symbol of redemption ; and the supersti- 
tious took up the thought, and positively transformed 


it into an object of worship ; so that in many an 
instance Jesus has been forgotten, while the very 
timber on which He was ignominiously racked has 
stolen from Him the honours of the Godhead. Instead 
of regarding it as the instrument of reproach and 
shame, it has been set up as the standard around 
which armies have thronged, and as the emblem of 
victory. With a sickly sentimentality, poets have 
festooned it with their choicest flowers; painters and 
sculptors have interwoven it in their productions ; it 
has been worn near the heart by beauty and piety, as 
the symbol of faithfulness and love; delicate hands 
have wrought it in embroidery and tapestry ; architec- 
ture has borrowed its form ; the priesthood with it has 
adorned the altar ; and human intellect has adored its 
very dust as deity. And yet, it has been written by 
• the pen of inspiration, to mark distinctively one of the 
attributes of crucifixion : " Cursed is every one that 
hangeth on a tree." 

In the time of our Lord, this was regarded as the 
most infamous death that the most infamous of man- 
kind could suffer. Though a Eoman punishment, it 
was rarely inflicted on a Eoman citizen. The shame 
of such a death was handed down from generation to 
generation, so that even the distant relatives of a 
crucified man inherited his infamy. It was the death 
of slaves, traitors, and deserters. The Gospel therefore 
expresses a world of ignominy when it says, Our Lord 
was crucified. The public character of His punishment 
increased the shame. To have slain Him in secret 
would not have met Jewish prejudice and cruelty ; 
Jerusalem was now filled with people, who had gathered 


from all the land, for it was the feast of the Passover. 
The rulers were anxious that the whole Country should 
see the Nazarene impostor upon a tree. It would not 
content them even to stone Him to death, according to 
their own law ; but they would have Him lifted up 
between earth and heaven, as unworthy of either; 
become the gazing-stock of the crowds, and die as an 
outcast slave. They therefore cried vehemently and 
repeatedly : " Crucify him." Let us bear in mind, that 
our Lord was endowed with human passions. He was 
not insensible to the scorn and derision which were 
heaped upon Him. He felt that He was made a curse. 
He heard the ribaldry, and the jeer, and the scoff, and 
the reviling, and the wanton shout of His persecutors. 
But, to redeem us from the curse of the law, He " made 
himself of no reputation," and was accursed for us, so 
that in the infamy of the cross we recognise the 
fulfilment of prophecy : " But I am a worm, and no 
man ; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 
All they that see me laugh me to scorn ; they shoot 
out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted in 
the Lord that he would deliver him : let him deliver 
him, seeing he delighted in him." 

(2.) The sufferings of the cross must not be confined 
to those which were bodily. You must think of the 
iron entering into the soul. The mind of Christ was 
overwhelmed with sorrow. He was forsaken by His 
friends; assaulted by legions of devils; and exposed 
to the wrath of a divine and loving Father. Some of 
these causes of anguish were present in Gethsemane ; 
but all were united as He hung upon the cross. " My 
soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death ; " " My 


God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" As then 
we think of our Saviour's humiliation, the lowliness of 
His birth, the obscurity of His life, the poverty of His 
circumstances, the hatred and reproach of the Jews, 
their denial of His mission, and rejection of His claims, 
His betrayal, the violence of His agony, His apprehen- 
sion, the smiting, the spitting, the crown, the reed, the 
spear, the groans, the blood, the buffetings of Satan, 
and the stroke of Heaven ; we may well join in the 
sorrowful wail of the Greek liturgy : " By thy unknown 
sufferings, Christ, have mercy on us." 

2. The Cross — the symbol of atonement. Superstition 
deifies the wood on which the Saviour was suspended ; 
enlightened faith looks directly at Christ, and only 
regards the cross, because of the sacrifice which was 
offered on it. It was there that atonement was pre- 
sented for sin, and looking on it simply as the symbol 
of that atonement, we say with the apostle : "God 
forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified 
unto me, and I unto the world." This doctrine is the 
Christian's life, and the life of the world. To rob us 
of atonement, is to consign us to death and hell. All 
the artillery of Socinianism and infidelity has been, 
and is now, levelled against it. Unless it be the 
plenary inspiration of the Bible, there are none of the 
truths to which we cling, assailed with greater bitter- 
ness and ability. Nor is this hostility confined to any 
particular class, or to persons in any particular . grade 
of society. The man of scholarly reputation, walking 
in academic groves, and living in an atmosphere of 
literary refinement, now joins in the vulgar shout of 


ribaldry and scorn, which the sceptic and socialist 
utter against the doctrine of satisfaction for sin. But 
in full view of the objections which are raised, and 
calling to mind the momentous and everlasting issues 
which are included, we assert and re-assert, with all 
the confidence of increased conviction, that " Christ 
died for our sins according to the Scriptures." 

(1.) Atonement is that full satisfaction which has 
been offered to God, by the death of Christ on the 
cross, for the sin which man has committed against 
divine law and majesty ; by virtue of which we realize 
forgiveness and reconciliation, and finally, shall be put 
in possession of eternal life. It therefore contemplates 
rebellion and exposure on the part of the sinner, and 
offended justice on the part of God. It does not 
require any deep acquaintance with human science or 
classic lore, to see the necessity for such provision. 
Divested of extraneous topic and the erudite terms of 
schoolmen, the case may be simply stated. Man was 
made in the divine image, and put on the probation of 
obedience. Life was offered as the reward of fidelity, 
and death was threatened as the punishment of trans- 
gression. Man broke the law. The violation of law 
cuuld not suspend or destroy its obligations. To for- 
give transgression without satisfaction is an impossi- 
bility. The sinner can make no such satisfaction, and 
if he may be saved at all, some being higher than 
himself must offer it for him. Our position, therefore, 
is this, that Jesus, the Son of God, has become his sub- 
stitute ; that in the union of the divine and human 
natures lie was fitted for the task; that hj His (hath 
upon the cross He became that substitute, and offered 


that satisfaction ; and that now, the sinner redeemed 
may be pardoned and glorified. 

(2.) "We are free to say that a great doctrine like 
this should not rest on scanty evidence,; but we say 
with undying assurance, that no truth of the Bible 
rests on firmer foundation, or is sustained by stronger 

The question is, Was the death of the cross a sub- 
stitution ? It is only on this ground, that you can 
explain or justify the rite of animal sacrifice. The 
infliction of pain without a purpose is cruelty ; and 
the fact of God's acceptance of sacrifice is proof of its 
divine origin. The ceremonial of Judaism was designed 
to typify the Saviour's expiation. " Almost all things 
are by the law purged with blood." But surely bodily 
defilement did not need blood to purge it away ; and 
" if it was not intended to point to the coming sacrifice, 
water would have been far better. This doctrine was 
taught, then, not merely by the Levitical economy, 
under which the High Priest took the sins of the 
people and put them upon the head of the scape-goat, 
which, with these sins, was then led into the wilder- 
ness ; but also by the acts of the patriarch, by the 
visions of prophets, by the teaching of Apostles and 
evangelists, and by the life of our blessed Lord. For 
no man dare lift his face in civilised society, and say 
that Jesus suffered for His own sin. All the conscience 
of mankind would rise in arms against the blasphemy, 
and hell itself would hide its head for shame. 

And then as to Scripture testimony. Should you take 
away the proofs of substitutionary sacrifice, there would 
scarcely be a page without a scar ; and, indeed, the 


great sun of revelation, round which all saving truths 
revolve, would be blotted out. The seed of the woman 
was to bruise the head of the serpent. " Surely 
he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows ; " 
" He was wounded for our transgressions ; . with 
his stripes we are healed ; " "The Lord hath laid on 
him the iniquity of us all ; " " He bare the sin of 
many ; " " Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of 
the law, being made a curse for us ; " " He is the pro- 
pitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also 
for the sins of the whole world ; " " Who his own self 
bare our sins in his own body on the tree ; " " He 
hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin ; " 
" But now once in the end of the world, hath he 
appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself ; " 
'• But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for 
sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 
from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his 
footstool." The whole Bible is evidence of atonement 
by Christ. 

(3.) As to the vaunted objection, that it is incon- 
sistent with the justice of God to punish an innocent 
person for the sins of the guilty, we might answer 
by giving the statement a denial. It is not incon- 
sistent with justice to do it. Is it not threatened that 
God would " visit the iniquities of the fathers upon 
the children " ? Were not the children of Saul cut off 
for their father's sin ? Were not seventy thousand 
people slain because of David's transgression, when he 
\ittered the confession, " It is I that have sinned : I 
have done evil indeed ; but as for these sheep, what 
have they done ? " But we prefer another answer to 


4 1 8 . THE JO Y OF JESUS 

this objection. Jesus, who took upon Him the nature 
that had sinned, freely consented to bear our punish- 
ment ; and this consent demolishes the heresy. If, 
therefore, He who bears our punishment, in order that 
we may not bear it, may be said to suffer in our stead ; 
and if our argument thus proves that Christ did endure 
punishment for this very purpose, the conclusion is 
irresistible, that His death on the cross is the atone- 
ment for our sins. And if, further, on the one hand, 
the death of Christ is vicarious, He must be divine ; 
and if, on the other, He is divine, His death must be 
vicarious ; so that whichever way you take it, the 
believer is safe. 

" My pardon I claim ; 

For a sinner I am, 
A sinner believing in Jesus' name. 

He purchased the grace 

Which now I embrace : 
Father, thou know'st He hath died in my place. 

" His death is my plea ; 

My Advocate see, 
And hear the blood speak that hath answered for me. 

My ransom He was 

When He bled on the cross ; 
And by losing His life He hath carried my cause." 

3. The Cross is the guarantee of blessing. The atone- 
ment takes hold of both worlds. Take the cross itself, 
which, while it points and looks towards heaven, 
touches and rests upon the earth. The sacrifice which 
was offered upon it satisfies divinity and saves huma- 
nity. It is now the bond which unites the two. 
Heaven and earth have met together ; righteousness 
and peace have kissed each other. The cross, there- 


fore, secures to man that which sin had forfeited. 
Reconciliation with God is the result of atonement. 
And this may be regarded as a generic term, compre- 
hending many blessings. 

(1.) The, 'pardon of sin. For in Him " we have 
redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins." 
That man is a guilty sinner, is attested by the volume 
of inspiration, and endorsed by the voice of conscience. 
That he cannot save himself, alas ! requires no proof. 
That provision has been made for his reconciliation, we 
have already shown : " For it pleased the Father that 
in him should all fulness dwell ; and having made 
peace through the blood of his cross, by him to recon- 
cile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether 
they be things in earth, or things in heaven." So that 
the poor sinner has but in earnest penitency to rest 
upon this atonement, and his sins are blotted out. 

If you look at heaven through any other medium 
than the cross, it either glares with indignation, or is 
black with despair. Look, however, to God in the 
light of the cross, and you will meet the light of His 
loving eye, the burden will fall from your shoulders, 
joy will spring up in your heart, and your very soul 
will dance within you in the prospect of immortality. 

" Come, then, poor trembler on life's stormy sea, 
When dark the waves of sin and sorrow roll ; 
To Him for refuge from the tempest flee, 

To Him, confiding, trust thy sinking soul : 
For oh ! He came, He died, to calm the tempest-tossed, 
To seek the weary wanderer, and to save the lost. " 

(2.) Purity is another blessing guaranteed by the 
cross. " By one offering he hath perfected for ever 


them that are sanctified." " These are they which came 
out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, 
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." 

(3.) Another good secured by the cross is spiritual 
consolation. This blood seals the covenant of redemp- 
tion, and that covenant includes all that you can want. 
In the time of harassment and trial, when Satan 
buffets, and your strength is failing ; when the skies 
lower, and the dull sound of the coming tempest falls 
upon your ear; and when, looking at your varied 
circumstances of sorrow, you are tempted to say, " All 
these things are against me;" grasp the cross with 
unfailing confidence. There is more than magic power 
in it. It will speak comfort into your soul ; for " my 
God shall supply all your need, according to his riches 
in glory by Christ Jesus." 

(4.) The cross guarantees to us victory over death. 
" That through death he might destroy him that had 
the power of death, and deliver them who through 
fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." 
There is within us a natural fear of dying ; but this 
surely does not arise merely from the fact that a 
change awaits us. It is rather because of the future 
beyond. We fear death, because it is the consequence 
of sin ; because of our guilty forebodings of misery ; 
because of our unfitness for the coming judgment; and 
we may well, therefore, be said to be in bondage. But 
let us bear in mind, that the death of Christ removes 
the veil which is over the future, and unfolds its glory. 
The death of Christ assures to us peace of conscience, 
and the divine favour, and also prepares us for a 
blessed immortality. Christ has conquered death, 


and will therefore deliver me. Even the most timid 
during life have been girded with superhuman strength 
for the last conflict ; and though they anticipated the 
hour, with a trembling and dread which hastened the 
hour itself, yet grace was given in the time of need; and 
raised above themselves, and even amazed at their past 
doubt and fear, they have said in grateful surprise, 

"Tell me, my soul, can this be death ? " 

Then, gazing upon the cross, they have passed through 
death triumphant home. 

Let not therefore the great adversary frighten you. 
He is conquered already ; and you shall put your foot 
upon his neck. We may all therefore adopt the state- 
ment, that Death has nothing henceforward formidable 
to the Christian. In the tomb of Jesus Christ, are dis- 
sipated all the terrors which the tomb of nature presents. 

In the tomb of nature, sinner, thou beholdest thy 
frailty, thy subjection to the bondage of corruption. 
In the tomb of Jesus Christ, thou beholdest thy 
strength and thy deliverance. In the tomb of nature, 
the punishment of sin stares thee in the face. In the 
tomb of Jesus Christ, thou findest the expiation for it. 
In the tomb of nature, thou hearest the sentence : 
"Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." 
But from the tomb of Jesus Christ issue those accents 
of consolation : "lam the resurrection, and the life : 
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet 
shall he live : and whosoever liveth and believeth in 
me shall never die." In the tomb of nature, thou 
readest this universal doom, " It is appointed unto 
men once to die, but after this the judgment ; " but 


in the tomb of Jesus Christ, thy tongue is tuned to 
this triumphant song of praise: "O death, where is 
thy sting ? grave, where is thy victory ? The sting 
of death is sin ; and the strength of sin is the law. 
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory 
through our Lord Jesus Christ." 

(5.) Heaven itself is secured by the Cross. 

By His death Christ has opened the way of life, 
and purchased the heaven to which it leads. There is 
a close connection between the Saviour's cross and the 
Christian's crown. On the one, there is the mark of 
the other ; and though the crown once gained shall 
never again be lost, through all eternity its possessor 
will acknowledge that its glory and immortality are 
secured by the cross. The everlasting life of heaven 
flows from the death of Jesus. " Therefore are they 
before the throne of God, and serve him day and night 
in his temple : and he that sitteth on the throne shall 
dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither 
thirst any more ; neither shall the sun light on them, 
nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst 
of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them 
unto living fountains of waters : and God shall wipe 
away all tears from their eyes." 

blessed Cross ! or rather, blessed Saviour on the 
Cross ! We adore Thee as the Source of life and 
fountain of mercy ! We humble ourselves under Thy 
load of suffering, Thy agony and shame ; we look to 
Thee as our Sacrifice and Saviour; we bless Thee as 
the Source of all our good ; we owe to Thee our for- 
giveness, and purity, and comfort, and immortality, and 
hope of heaven. 


" Were the whole realm of nature mine, 
That were a present far too small ; 
Love so amazing, so divine, 

Demands my soul, my life, my all. " 

II. The Joy He anticipated. — While the cross con- 
fers unspeakable blessing on man, it also heightens the 
happiness of heaven. In the prospect of it, Jesus 
rejoiced ; and large revenues of glory are now flowing 
from it. 

The clause has sometimes been read, " Who instead 
of the joy that was set before him ; " referring either 
to the joy of governing the world, as from eternity, 
with the Father and the Spirit, He has done ; or to the 
joy of human life, which He abandoned when He gave 
Himself up to death. But neither of these views can 
be accepted ; for St. Paul evidently refers to something 
not yet in Christ's possession, which, however, He 
anticipated as the result of His dying. "Who, on 
account of the joy set before him, endured the cross." 
The text does not say that the cross gave Him joy ; 
but states the purpose and design with which it was 


1. This joy in its nature. Of this we may only 
speak with reverence and caution. To comprehend 
and explain the joy which took possession of His soul, 
whose human nature was united with the divine, is 
beyond our reach. One may form some conception of 
this emotion, as it influences a mortal breast, or the 
inferior creation. You look at the cultivated plot; 
and as the breath of spring passes over it, you mark 
the outside blade, and then the bud, and then the 
llower; and as ten thousand of these throw forth 


their perfume on the summer's breeze, you say that 
they are revelling in the joy of life. You look at the 
insect world, and follow those busy creatures to their 
hive, as they wing themselves over field and garden, 
and brake and glen, gathering sweetness wherever they 
alight, until at length, laden with honey, they return 
to their home, humming and singing their carol of joy. 
You listen to the lark as he soars into the clouds on 
the rosy light of morning ; and then, to the nightin- 
gale, as in softened twilight she chants her vespers to 
creation's God ; and in these warblings of feathered 
songsters, you feel that there is joy. 

But rising from the world around, we can form some 
idea of the joy of a human spirit. 

There is the joy of discovert/. Here is a philosopher 
of the olden time, racking his mind over a problem ; 
ahd just like the ray which suddenly falls through the 
chink of a darkened sky, a thought breaks the mystery ; 
his soul is thrilled with joy at the discovery, and he 
cries, " I have found it." The voyager in search of a 
new world has passed many a weary day at sea, and 
for long hours he has stretched his eye to the horizon. 
At length a small land-bird perches upon the mast 
of his vessel. The sight of the little flutterer fills 
him with ecstasy, for it makes him the discoverer of a 

There is the joy of deliverance. Life was in danger. 
Providence has interposed, and saved from the ravages 
of fire, or from a watery grave. There is the joy of 
return. Long years have passed since the sad farewell, 
and the wide, wide sea has separated the parent and 
the child ; but the time for reunion approaches, and 


after an impatient voyage, the dear old homestead 
comes in sirfit, and the soul of the wanderer is filled 
with gratitude and peace. 

"We know the joy of friendship, when two souls are 
knit together, and as they blend their thoughts and 
feelings, live in each other's heart. We know the joy 
of a penitent sinner, long burdened with a load of 
guilt, and crushed almost into hell under an appre- 
hension of coming wrath ; who, lifting his trusting eye 
to the cross, and resting his soul on Jesus, feels the 
burden fall ; and rising up forgiven, the sunshine 
gathers upon his face, and he is filled " with joy un- 
speakable and full of glory." We know something of 
the Christians joy, who in the spirit of his beneficent 
Master, goeth " about doing good," and fixing his eye 
upon the outcast and dying, leads them to the Source 
of blessing. AVe may moreover think of the joy of 
that angel throng, who, living in the light of heaven, 
take an ever-deepening interest in earth ; and as they 
mark the progress of that scheme, which is here repre- 
sented by the cross, their ecstasy is heightened, for 
" there is joy in the presence of the angels of God 
over one sinner that repenteth." But when we speak 
of tlie joy of Jesus, we are lost. The strongest pinion 
of human thought is broken in the attempt to soar ; 
the most penetrating vision is blinded by the sun- 
power ; and falling in reverent amazement before Him 
we confess, " Such knowledge is too wonderful for me ; 
it is high, I cannot attain unto it." We therefore 
content ourselves with such simple assertion as is 
warranted by Scripture. The Saviour's joy presents 
itself in two aspects : — 

4 2 6 -£HE JO Y OF JESUS 

(1.) As a personal delight, arising from a conscious- 
ness both of evil averted and good secured. "And 
lie saw that there was no man, and he wondered that 
there was no intercessor ; therefore his arm brought 
salvation unto him ; and his righteousness, it sustained 
him." He saw the sinner depraved, and He died to 
make him pure : He saw him wretched, and He died to 
make him happy : He saw him doomed to the pit, and 
He died to purchase heaven: He saw the world in 
rebellion against God, and He died to bring it back to 
obedience and bliss. The thoughts of such results gave 
Him joy. 

(2.) This joy has also reference to the reward which 
ivas promised because of the cross. His exaltation to 
the right hand of God is the joy that He anticipated ; 
for the Apostle here says, " Who for the joy that was 
s£t before him, endured the cross, and is set down at 
the right hand of the throne of God." In one sense, 
this may be called a covenant between Himself and 
the Divine Father ; He undertaking the work of man's 
redemption, and the Father engaging to confer the 
glory. The exaltation is the result of the humiliation. 
" But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than 
the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with 
glory and honour ; " " Wherefore God also hath highly 
exalted him, and given him a name which is above 
every name : That at the name of Jesus every knee 
should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, 
and things under the earth ; and that every tongue 
should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory 
of God the Father." 

This exaltation implies joy. The right hand of God 


is the place of pleasure. " In thy presence is fulness of 
joy ; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." 
There is the thought of honour ; for it is the seat of 
dignity. There is the thought of government ; for it 
is the seat of power. He who died on the cross, now 
governs the universe. Devils acknowledge His king- 
ship ; men bow before Him ; and all heaven gratefully 
confesses His rule. " "Worthy is the Lamb that was 
slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and 
strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." 

2. This joy in its object. It was " set before him." 
This expression is a contrast with the first verse. 
Just as the race is "set before us," and we are 
constantly to keep it in our view ; so the joy was set 
before Him, and was never lost sight of during His 
earthly course. The phrase is fitly said to mean, 
" that in view of all the honour which He would have 
at the right hand of God, and the happiness He would 
experience from the consciousness that He had redeemed 
a world, He was willing to bear the sorrows connected 
with the atonement." 

This joy had a twofold object : — 

(1.) The vindication of heaven. The Divine Being 
had been insulted by the breach of law. A holy God 
and a rebel world were alienated by disobedience. 
Insult and wrong were arrayed against the claims of 
justice, and defiance was hurled at the throne of 
heaven. We know of only one alternative: the 
righteousness of God must be vindicated either by 
the punishment of the rebel, or the sacrifice of Christ ; 
and with the assurance that His death on the cross 
would satisfy and honour the Father, He rejoiced to die. 


(2.) The object of this joy was also the universal 
happiness of earth. Though the earthly history of 
Jesus was a sad scene of sorrow, there were moments 
in which even His human nature was overwhelmed with 
joy. " In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, 
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that 
thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, 
and hast revealed them unto babes : even so, Father ; 
for so it seemed good in thy sight." He had sent the 
seventy on their errand of mercy. They exultingly 
returned with the account of their success. Their 
Master cautioned and encouraged them, and rejoiced 
over the world for which He came to die. The great 
and simple and sublime object of the cross, is the 
restoration and glory of the race. To realize that 
object was, and is, Messiah's joy 

'*He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall 
be satisfied." The fruit of his sufferings was to be an 
inmirnerable progeny of living souls. Men of every 
clime and age and condition are to be born into 
spiritual life. The tidings of the cross are to be carried 
into all lands, and the power of the cross is to be felt 
in all hearts ; and when the Saviour beholds a world 
with the curse removed from it, and a race sanctified 
and made happy, He will " be satisfied." The death of 
Jesus is the life of man, and the bliss of man is the 
joy of Christ. 

" When God's own Son is lifted up, 
A dying world revives ; 
The Jew beholds the glorious hope, 
The expiring Gentile lives." 

The Saviour's joy is realized as the poor, penitent 


sinner groans his only plea, and is uplifted from his 
grave into the life and liberty of the sons of God. It 
is realized as the dead formalist, over whose tomb 
some frail and withered flowers of a mere profession 
have been strewn, starts up into real spiritual existence 
and lives to purpose. It is realized as the Church, 
like the parched and stricken ground, opens its mouth 
to receive the Spirit's grace ; and then, bursting with 
fresh vigour, counts its converts as the dewdrops of the 
morning. Jesus rejoices as He sees the serried ranks 
of Israel hasten to the battle, and rush on to victory. 
And by and by His joy will be perfected ; as, gazing 
upon the thronging millions who surround His throne, 
— all pardoned, and sanctified, and glorified, — He says : 
" Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom 
prepared for you from the foundation of the world." 

Application. — 1. Christ having endured the cross, 
there is now only one sacrifice, but that is perfect. 
The day of animal sacrifice is gone. Human sacri- 
fices are a cruel abomination. The sacrifice of the 
mass is a grand impertinence. The sinner is shut 
up to one atonement. " There is none other name 
under heaven given among men whereby we must 
be saved." You must abandon all dependence on 
yourselves, for you are utterly without merit. You 
must give up all confidence in man. " Other 
foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which 
is Jesus Christ." But bear in mind that while this 
is the only safety, it is all sufficient. Through the 
cross of Christ, the vilest character out of hell may 
come for mercy. The man in the deepest depravity, 
whose life has been marked by grossest crime ; the man 


who counts his sins by thousands, and every one of 
whose very hairs may represent a load of guilt ; the 
man who is sinking into despair, and growing weary of 
life, may come to Christ. 

" Come, my guilty brethren, come ! 

Groaning beneath your load of sin ; 
His bleeding heart shall make you room, 

His open side shall take you in ; 
He calls you now, invites you home ; 

Come, my guilty brethren, come ! " 

2. Let the voice from the cross he the Christian's call 
to labour. Grasp the symbol and rush on to battle, 
claiming for Christ the world which He has bought. 
Your duty to Him has precedence over all others. 

Scottish history tells how, on any great emergency, 
the chieftain of a clan speedily summoned his loyal fol- 
lowers to his side. He made a small cross of wood, the 
extremities of which were set on fire ; and then having 
slain a goat, he extinguished the flame in its blood. 
This symbol was known by the name of the fiery cross, 
or the cross of shame, because those who disobeyed 
its summons were branded with infamy. It was 
delivered to a trusty messenger, who hastened with it 
to the nearest hamlet. Finding the chief person of the 
place, he put it into his hand, with scarcely more than 
a single sentence, announcing the place and the time 
of gathering. He who received it was bound by his 
fealty to the chieftain to despatch it with all speed to 
the next village : and thus in an incredibly short time 
the whole circuit was made ; and every clansman from 
the age of sixteen to sixty, girded for the battle, was 
at the post of danger. No excuses were allowed. 


The herdsman left his flock, and the artizan his em- 
ployment, and the mourner his obsequies, and the 
bridegroom his plighted bride. And if in any instance 
the signal was unheeded, the traitor was pursued by 
fire and sword. 

Let us learn a lesson of duty to our Master. 
"We have sworn to Him eternal allegiance. He now 
requires the presence and courage of His followers to 
right the impending battle of the world. Take the 
cross and speed on its journey, and run to the scene of 
conflict. Send it on with increasing haste and devo- 
tion. Shame upon that man who refuses to grasp and 
pass it ! He is a traitor to Christ, and to the best 
interests of humanity. He dooms himself to infamy. 
But do you urge on the symbol. Rest not till the 
circuit of the race is made; and then, standing with 
the innumerable multitude which no man can number 
before His throne of victory and glory, with every 
leal-hearted follower you shall hear Him say : " Well 
done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into 
the joy of thy Lord !" 

" Finish thy work, the time is short ; 
The sun is in the West ; 
The night is coming down : till then 
Think not of rest. 

" last ! finish nil thy work, then rest ; 
Till then, rest never : 
The rest prepared for thee by God 
Is rest for ever. 

" Finish thy work, then wipe thy brow, 
Ungird thee from thy toil ; 
Take breath, and from each wear)- limb 
.Shake off the soil. 


' ' Finish thy work, then sit thee down 
On some celestial hill, 
And of its strength-reviving air 
Take thou thy fill. 

" Finish thy work, then go in peace, 
Life's battle fought and won ; 
Hear from the throne the Master's voice : 
' Well done ! well done ! ' 

' ' Finish thy work, then take thy harp, 
Give praise to God above ; 
Sing a new song of mighty joy 
And endless love ! "